Certain assets may pass to your heirs as soon as you die and without going through probate. As described by SmartAsset.com, you may add beneficiaries to your pay-on-death accounts. Heirs noted as beneficiaries may access those accounts by presenting identification and a copy of a death certificate.
Many financial institutions offering checking, savings or brokerage accounts allow you to add payable-on-death beneficiaries. By contacting them and requesting a beneficiary form, you may add an heir to receive the remaining assets in an account when you die.
How much money may I give to my heirs as gifts?
You may also begin giving away money now as tax-free gifts for as long as you live. According to the IRS, you may give away $15,000 each year to any individual you wish. If you have more than one heir, for example, you may provide each individual with up to $15,000.
You may also pay tuition for an individual’s education. If you pay for someone’s medical expenses as a gift, he or she generally does not incur taxes on it. Spouses with U.S. citizenship may receive an unlimited amount of money as a tax-free gift.
How may I own property jointly with an heir?
Florida’s statutes may allow you to own property jointly with an heir, which then transfers automatically when you die. As noted on the Florida Legislature’s website, real property titled as joint tenants may transfer 100% ownership to the survivor upon the death of the other owner. This option may help to avoid a lengthy probate process to retitle your property.
Estate planning requires careful thought and consideration to provide for your heirs. When the objective is to transfer ownership of assets quickly, several options allow you to meet your needs.