To start, you need to understand how assets transfer when someone dies.
- Joint ownership: If the title to an asset has two names “Jointly”, when the first owner dies that asset automatically passes to the survivor.
- “Pay on Death”: On certain accounts you can name a person to pay directly upon your death. Life insurance is a good example.
- Decedent’s name alone: If there is no joint ownership, or pay on death designation, then it is in decedent’s name alone. This type of asset passes according to your will or trust. Without a will or trust there is a state statute that determines where your assets go.
With this in mind, you are ready to start the process of either opening a probate estate or transferring assets.
your Estate Plan
The same rules apply when putting together your will or trust. How is the asset owned and how will it transfer?
Our first meeting
Bring the following to our first meeting:
- A list of your assets, house, bank accounts
- How is that asset titled? You alone, jointly
- Are there any “Pay on Death” beneficiaries?
After answering these questions we can discuss the Estate Plan that fits for you. Generally, we do this on a flat fee and will quote you a price before drafting any documents.
It's your Estate
You’ve worked hard to earn what you have, take the time to assure it will transfer the way you want.