I’ve talked about how things can transfer automatically. How those things can transfer without the need for a probate proceeding. They’re Thing 1 assets. Transferring automatically is really fast. But fast doesn’t necessarily equal efficient.
When someone just shows up after you die and gets a check (or fills out a form…. and gets a check), it works really fast. For some situations that can be good. Those situations usually are when one person, a spouse… or only child…., is supposed to get it all.
When more than one person is involved, things can go quick, but it might not to end up where they’re supposed to go. Or at least not in the most efficient way possible.
When things go bad, it can be less like a thoroughbred, and more like a bad carnival ride.
What do I mean? Here’s an example. A common method of transferring a bank account upon death is to list a person as the payable on death beneficiary. That can work great if you don’t have creditors and only one person supposed to end up with it. But let’s say you have more than one kid. And let’s say they don’t always communicate well and… well… one’s a bit of a loser. You can list all of the kids on the account. But maybe on your death loser kid grabs it all and loser kid doesn’t want to give it up.
Okay… let’s just list the golden child. Alright. Is golden child supposed to pay for the funeral with the money? Are they supposed to share? Or was your intent for golden child to get it all?
Okay. How is everyone supposed to know when you’re not there to tell them?
Not straight forward as you thought. Huh?
In cases that are more complicated, like in the example where assets should be split between kids, a structured process (a track… get it?) might be the most efficient way to transfer assets. Depending on the laws in the state where you live, that could be putting everything into a trust.
For some states and for some situations. Wait for it.
The most efficient way to transfer your assets could actually be a probate process.
Here’s the value of lawyers who know the law and have seen how different transfer methods play out. The most efficient transfer in your situation could be setting up automatic transfers for each asset… or to hold it in trust… or let it fall by default into your estate and let the probate process do it’s thing. A lawyer who has seen these different methods play out can help you determine the efficient route to get your assets to where they, ultimately, should go.
How do you find the right lawyer? Pop over to episode 3 of the podcast, by going to Itunes or Spreaker, where I give tips on finding a lawyer who can set up the right fit for your situation.