There are some rather straightforward and simple ways to arrange for the transfer of assets to your heirs after you pass away. One of these is via the utilization of a POD account.
The acronym “POD” in this context stands for payable on death. With POD accounts, you name a beneficiary (or in some cases multiple beneficiaries) when you open the account at a bank or brokerage. In the event of your death, the beneficiary assumes ownership of the remaining resources directly, and this transfer takes place outside of the time-consuming process of probate.
While the above may sound appealing, POD accounts do not provide a comprehensive estate planning solution. To be properly prepared, you have to account for the possibility of your future incapacity, and these accounts do not allow for this type of contingency planning.
You own the assets throughout your life when you place them into a payable on death account. So, these resources are fair game for creditors or claimants, and these accounts are not going to provide you with any tax efficiency either.
These accounts also do not provide you with a way to control how and when your heirs receive the assets of the accounts, something that may be very important if you have an heir that is financially inexperienced.
To assure that your estate plan is set up properly, sit down and discuss the matter with an experienced and qualified San Jose CA estate planning lawyer. Your attorney will evaluate your unique situation, listen closely as you explain your objectives, and craft a plan that that is tailor-made to suit the needs of you and your family.