Avoiding Probate Through Beneficiary Designations

Certain assets can be transferred by a “beneficiary designation.” Such assets typically include life insurance policies, independent retirement accounts (IRAs) and employee benefit plans (401k plans, etc.) as well as some financial accounts. Similarly, real estate can be transferred by a “beneficiary deed” which transfers the property to the named recipient automatically upon the death of the owner. By utilizing this type of planning, ownership will be transferred automatically to a named beneficiary. For various reasons, this often does no adequately replace trust-based planning but can be utilized to supplement more comprehensive planning.