Monday, May 4, 2009

Failure to Understand How Your Assets Will Pass On Your Death

Most People think that their property will pass by a will.

This usually is wrong. In most estates property passes by a variety of methods:

  1. Joint Tenancy—A method of holding property which automatically gives the property to the survivor regardless of the will says.
  2. Life Insurance—Gives the policy to the beneficiary unless the owner of the policy is married and then it will go one half to the surviving spouse regardless of what the owner wishes in California
  3. Pay on Death Bank or Stock Accounts (Totten Trusts)will automatically go to the beneficiary on the account regardless what the will states.
  4. IRA and other Retirement Accounts—will go to the beneficiary and if there is no beneficiary listed then it will go to whoever is designated in the retirement plan. This could be the estate or someone else—such as a spouse or child
  5. Property funded in a Trust—Will go to the beneficiaries of the trust regardless of what the will says
  6. Community Property—In California regardless what the will says only ½ of the community property will go the way the married person states in a will. The other ½ will go to the spouse

Usually only property which is titled in you name alone if you are single will go by way of the provisions of a will.

Joseph E. Deering

632 Arizona Avenue
Santa Monica, California 90401
Telephone (310) 393-0701

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