It is common for people in Texas to believe that estate planning documents provide the details and instructions for passing on all assets to heirs and beneficiaries. But, as a recent news article pointed out, that isn’t always the case. So, how will your assets be passed on?
Quite a bit of information is usually included in an estate plan. Sometimes, that information is duplicative – because assets are already designated to be passed on in a certain way. For example, the recent news article pointed to “payable on death” accounts. These types of accounts, as the name implies, usually pass on to a designated individual without the need for any further instructions from an estate plan – it happens automatically.
Jointly owned property is another method by which assets can be passed on to the ownership of another person. As the recent news article noted, it is incredibly common for married couples to own a home, for example, as jointly owned property. In the event of the death of one of the joint owners, ownership falls to the other completely. This can occur with any joint owners. Yet another method to pass on assets that was mentioned in the recent article is to use some type of trust. A common way to do this is to transfer the ownership of assets to an established trust, which then dictates who will benefit from the assets held in the trust, and when.
Successfully passing on assets is usually a major goal for anyone in Texas who is interested in getting started on their estate plan. Be sure to do a thorough review of all of your assets and how you want them to be passed on – and how they might be designated already.