Home Equity and Refinancing

In order to avoid probate after a death is it wise to have a TOD on certain items such as home furnishings and vehicles?

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2012-07-15 14:17:28
2012-07-15 14:17:28

TOD stands for 'transfer on death'. Transfer on death (TOD) registration allows you to pass the securities you own directly to another person or entity upon your death bypassing probate. TOD arrangements can be made for all your bank accounts and your retirement accounts.

TOD is a legal agreement with an entity such as a bank whereby upon the death of the owner of an account ownership bypasses probate and passes directly to beneficiaries. The transfer is made quickly but assets passed through this type of arrangement are subject to estate taxes, if applicable. It is very wise to make TOD arrangements for all bank accounts, investment accounts, insurance policies, etc.

In the case of a car, other tangible property, or real property, the property must be titled jointly in order for it to become the sole property of another person upon your death. Some property, such as home furnishings, cannot be "titled" and you must make a will if you want to control their distribution after your death unless you are certain your family will carry out your informal requests for distribution.

You need to consult with an attorney. TOD cannot be used for all property. An attorney could help you distinguish TOD property, and help you arrange title for your other property to avoid probate. This is called estate planning.

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