Any time you can set up your estate planning to avoid the probate process, you are helping your loved ones who are left behind avoid a long and often grueling process. Figuring out ways to avoid going through probate doesn’t have to be a complicated matter. In fact, one simple way to do this is by using something called pay on death bank accounts.
Even if you have large sums of money, using a pay on death account can be a great way to avoid the probate process. It involves a simple form provided by your bank where you can name the person that you want to get the money at the time of your passing. While you’re alive, the person who is listed as the beneficiary will have no access to the money. However, once you pass away, the money will automatically be transferred to them. All that they have to do is come to the bank, show proof of death and their identity, and they will be able to collect the money from the account.
If spouses own the account together, the money will automatically go to the surviving spouse first. Then, once the surviving spouse passes away the money will automatically go to the person listed as the beneficiary on the pay on death account.
As you can see, using the pay on death bank account approach can greatly alleviate the stress and strain of having to figure out what to do with your money in the estate planning process. However, pay on death may not work in every situation which is why you need to consult an experienced estate planning attorney to find out the proper steps for your own particular needs.