By Jeff Wagoner, W M Law President
The main reason to have a revocable trust is to avoid probate. But, did you know that many, actually probably “most”, people don’t really need a revocable trust if their family situation is relatively simple and they make good use of “non-probate transfer mechanisms.”
A non-probate transfer mechanism is simply a way to change the title on a piece of property without getting an order of the probate court. A simple example is using a “Payable on Death” designation on your checking account. If you have listed someone as a “Payable on Death” (aka “POD”) beneficiary on your checking account, then the bank will automatically give the money in that account to your POD beneficiary once that person presents your death certificate to the bank.
It is super simple – no need for lawyers or courts. A great tool for transferring real estate that is just as simple is known as a “Beneficiary Deed.” A Beneficiary Deed is essentially just like a POD designation on a bank account, with the exception that it is for real estate. It is a little more complicated because you’ll want an attorney to draft that Beneficiary Deed for you, and […]