Transfer on Death or Payable on Death Arrangements
Using a Transfer on Death (TOD) or Payable on Death (POD) arrangement will ensure your assets will have a beneficiary designation. In the event of your passing, you will use a TOD or POD to avoid probate by naming individuals or your trust as the beneficiary.
What is probate?
Probate is a legal process that takes place after a person passes away. Probate will include having the deceased’s property appraised, paying debts and taxes, identifying and inventorying the deceased person’s property, proving in court that a deceased person’s will is valid, and distributing the remaining property as the will directs. An appointed personal representative or the executor will provide the validity of the will and distribute the estate under the terms of the will. The main purpose of probate is to move the title of the property from the deceased to the living person(s).
The personal representative will file an application with the probate court to act as a PR. The PR will then provide the court an inventory and appraisal of the property in the probate estate. They will then send a note or publish in the paper an alert for the beneficiary and creditors. After the court closes probate, the PR will distribute the deceased’s property. It is important to understand that probate can be a time-consuming and expensive process that could cost between 5 and 20 percent of the estate. Depending on trust funding, it might not be necessary to have probate.
What is trust funding?
Trust funding is defined as managing and holding assets on someone else’s behalf with the assistance of a neutral third party. If a trust is fully funded, nothing will go to probate. This is the intended use of a trust to avoid the time and money spent in probate. The trustees will have control over everything titled in the trust and will distribute as such.
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