Beneficiary designations, account titling (ownership arrangements), and traditional estate planning tools (trusts and last wills) work together to create a fully functioning estate plan. Another common mistake made with beneficiary designations and ownership arrangements includes naming several people on the deed with you.
Naming multiple people on the deed with you can lead to a multitude of problems when they cannot agree. Upon your passing, they need to all agree on a sales price and real estate agent. All are equally responsible to pay the costs and expenses of the property and some may not be able to contribute. Nasty trouble often occurs when one child resides in the house and refuses to leave or makes it difficult to show to potential purchasers.
If you have only one child, then this strategy could work well. However, if you have multiple beneficiaries, having the property disposed of by an executor or trustee with the legal authority to handle the administration and sale often results in a smoother transition to your beneficiaries.
Over the next several posts we will explore these common mistakes in more detail.
To be continued….
Aaron E. Futterman, CPA, Esq. is a partner in the law firm of Futterman & Lanza, LLP with offices in Smithtown, NY and clients throughout Suffolk, Nassau, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Richmond, New York, Westchester and Rockland Counties. He concentrates his practice to Elder Law, Medicaid Planning, Medicaid Applications, Estate Planning, Probate, Estate Taxes, and Estate Administration.