Many clients walk into the Michaelson & Associates law firm saying that they want to leave their bank accounts to their children after death. The easiest solution might be to just make the children joint owners, but that is not always the best course of action.
The idea of making your kids joint account owners sounds better than it actually is. Yes, you will avoid probate court proceedings for the bank accounts when you pass. But you will also put yourself at risk to lose your money at time when you might need your money most. Giving your children access to your funds through joint account ownership means risking your money based on their life choices. Your accounts would be exposed to your children’s divorcing spouses, bankruptcy, liability for legal actions, accidents, or (and hopefully this will never be the case) your children could simply spend your money without your permission.
How to Handle Your Estate Plan and Estate Money
The best way to avoid your money going places you never intended is to avoid creating joint account owners in the first place.
It is essential to designate someone you trust to handle your finances when you cannot while you are still alive and healthy. Click this link to discover why you should avoid the downloadable internet forms. To get your estate planning, POA, and all your finances managed the way you want, take the time to see an estate planning attorney in your state. If you live in Nevada, come visit Michaelson & Associates and together we will map out what you want and how to get it done legally. You don’t want banks and insurance companies to reject your estate plan as insufficient when you need it most.
If you are wondering what to do with your bank accounts, you can make your bank account “payable on death” (POD). You will remain the sole owner of your account while you’re alive. Then, when the time comes, the POD designation is a simple and no-cost way to leave your money to your heirs. It’s important to tell your heirs what you are doing so they know what to expect upon your death. They will know where your accounts are located and can come forward to claim the money at the appropriate time.
If your power of attorney is powerful and detailed enough, something we can help you with at Michaelson & Associates, you can rest assured knowing that your trusted person will take care of your finances if you become disabled. When you pass, you will have your POD in place to transfer your money at that time. No fees, no court costs, and your accounts are covered. That’s a much better plan than a joint account, and it still helps you stay out of probate court.
To get your estate planning needs in order, please give us a call to work with an experienced estate planning and elder law firm. We will work hard to get your estate plan set up for what you want and keep your heirs out of probate or guardianship court in the process.