If you have gone to an estate planning attorney and had a plan drawn up and executed, congratulations. You have taken an important step to ensuring your family's future and to making sure the next generation inherits your assets in an orderly fashion. However, after you walk out of the estate planning attorney's office with your newly executed estate plan, there is one more thing you need to do.
This was the subject of a recent article in the Daily Local News entitled "Colliton: Retitling assets can change the estate plan."
After getting your estate plan, you need to take a close look at how all of the assets you own are titled. This includes your bank accounts, retirement accounts, home, cars, etc. Every asset you own needs to be titled in a way that does not conflict with your estate plan or the titles will override your plan.
For example, if your estate plan relies on giving the cash in a bank account to someone, then you need to make sure the account is not titled as payable on death to someone else. While that might sound simple and obvious, many people forget and their estate plans end up not doing what they want as a result.
If you have questions about titling your assets, then talk to your estate planning attorney. Ideally, everything should be titled (or retitled) as part of the initial estate planning process. By knowing how you want your assets distributed, your attorney can tell you the best way to hold title to them under your estate plan.
Reference: Daily Local News (May 16, 2016) "Colliton: Retitling assets can change the estate plan."