There are complicated financial instruments that are used in estate planning and it is a good idea to retain the services of an experienced estate planning attorney when you are making preparations for the future. This having been stated, there are also some rather simple solutions that can be a part of your comprehensive plan for aging and eventual death.
When it comes to transferring assets to your loved ones, one of these simple solutions would be a payable on death “POD” account (sometimes called transfer on death accounts). The way that payable on death designations work is that you name a beneficiary or in some cases multiple beneficiaries who would assume ownership of resources placed into the account after your death. These transfers would take place outside of the process of probate, so your beneficiary would receive these resources in a fast and efficient manner.
Payable on death accounts are available at most banks and credit unions. Transfer on death accounts are offered by many financial services companies so you can transfer securities in this manner as well. In the state of California, you can actually designate a beneficiary who would assume ownership of your vehicle after your death outside of the process of probate.
These accounts are not going to be an all-purpose solution, but they do hold appeal under certain circumstances. The best way to decide how to use payable on death accounts or whether you should use them at all would be to discuss the matter with a licensed and experienced estate planning attorney.