Estate planning is not that complicated and can even be as simple as transferring assets, according to the Times Herald-Record in "Transferring assets upon death."
There are four main ways to accomplish the task including:
- Wills - In a will you state who should get your assets and appoint someone to be in charge of making sure that your wishes are carried out. Wills have to be approved by a probate court.
- Joint Ownership - If you have assets in joint ownership with another person, then by law when you pass away, the joint owner becomes the sole owner of the asset.
- Beneficiary Designations - For life insurance policies, retirement accounts and savings accounts, you name a specific beneficiary to receive the assets after you pass away. A court does not need to approve the designation.
- Trusts - With a trust, you state how your assets should be handled, appoint someone to handle them and name the people for whose benefit the assets will be handled.
An estate planning attorney can guide you through the process of creating an estate plan that meets your unique circumstances.
Reference: Times Herald-Record (March 15, 2017) "Transferring assets upon death."