It is common practice to always name at least two owners on any asset. When one owner dies, the asset passes to the surviving owner and probate court can be avoided.
Legal Strategies, P.C. Blog
Estate Planning Posts
Many clients like to plan their estate by making sure there are always a least two owners on a piece of real estate. That way, when one owner dies, there is no need to go through the probate court to have the property transferred; it simply passes to the survivor.
Most people have at least one asset that includes a beneficiary designation (i.e, a life insurance policy, 401(k), IRA, annuity, etc.) It is important to remember that a beneficiary designation is the “trump card” and will overrule your will, your trust, or any other document that tries to direct to whom these funds are paid at the time of your death.
It is not uncommon for people to plan their estates in order to avoid probate using tactics such as joint ownership and beneficiary designations. However, it is common for people to forget to update old stock certificates for shares that were purchased long ago.
If you’ve had a family member die recently, you may have been surprised by how quickly you started receiving phone calls from bill collectors. According to a recent New York Times story, some debt collectors are specially trained in all five stages of grief and are paid a commission to collect debts from grieving family members.
The recent rash of bank failures has caused many people to feel unsure of the security of their bank deposits. To help alleviate anxiety, the government has increased FDIC insurance from $100,000 to $250,000 per depositor per insured bank through December 31, 2013.
According to AARP, only a small fraction of people who will need long term care have purchased any long term care insurance. Those who have not should be aware of the Pension Protection Act (passed in 2006) that went into effect in January of 2010.
The Michigan Legal Hotline for Seniors is reporting that more and more investment scams and frauds are being targeted at retirees and older adults. The recent news reminds us that even wealthy, smart people can be taken advantage of and lose a lot of money.