You’ve worked hard to attain all your assets. Money, property, and other belongings should all be protected after your death. You need to ensure they go to the right people!
Don’t let any of your assets fall into the wrong hands after your death. Here are the things you should look into in order to keep your hard-earned assets protected.
Make sure you have a will!
Polls taken out over the last few years have shown that an alarmingly large amount of people don’t have wills. Of course, everyone gets the unwillingness to get it done, to an extent. After all, who wants to spend long amounts of time talking about their own impending death? But if you don’t have a will set up, then you could be causing a lot of financial stress for the people you leave behind. In most cases, the government ends up with a large chunk of what you’ve earned over your lifetime. And who wants to give the government anything, let alone that much?
Joint ownership of assets
One of the most effective ways of ensuring that ownership of an asset passes onto a loved one is to seek joint ownership. In fact, many of today’s homeowners are already in joint ownership contracts because housing has gotten so expensive. If you jointly own an asset, then the deal comes with a very handy thing called the “right of survivorship”. It basically means that when you die, you no longer have a legal hold on the asset. The ownership now passes directly to the other person. While joint ownership can come with its own problems in life, it makes everything much simpler in death.
Payable on Death accounts
This is actually just one of the most “death beneficiaries” arrangements you can make with a financial asset. A Payable on Death account is probably the simplest of the lot. For the most part, these sorts of arrangements are made with your bank. Many people will look to retirement accounts when it comes to sorting out inheritance. But the problem with those sorts of arrangements is that they can often be affected by the age of your death. Money from there may also automatically go to a spouse. For those who don’t want that, for whatever reason, you might be better off looking into Payable on Death options!
The probate process
Sometimes, sorting through a particular part of your estate can be very complex. It’s these sorts of things that are often left unarranged upon someone’s death. Whoever you named in your will as the executor will work with the courts to make the proper arrangements. In such an event, they’re best working with a probate attorney in order to protect your assets (and themselves!). This can be one of the most complex outcomes, but it often cannot be avoided.
If you’ve got some low-cost assets that you want to pass on without incurring much tax, consider gifting. Gifting assets to people isn’t quite as simple as it sounds, but it is an extremely effective option if done properly.