Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Beneficiary Designations and Asset Titling

The best estate plan will not work if beneficiary designations and asset titling are not coordinated with the provisions of the will and trust. Common mistakes include adding a child's name to a house deed, adding one child as the transfer on death beneficiary of a financial account to the exclusion of the other children, or not avoiding the probate process by transferring the asset to a trust or adding a transfer on death designation.

I always provide my clients with a list of how to address beneficiary designations and asset titling issues. If the issues are not handled properly, one child can inadvertently inherit most of the estate to the chagrin, and lasting contempt and hostility, of the other children.