Download PDF by Mary Randolph: 8 Ways to Avoid Probate, 5th edition 2004

By Mary Randolph

ISBN-10: 1413300707

ISBN-13: 9781413300703

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CONTRACTUAL WILLS It’s an infrequent practice these days, but some couples make legally binding agreements to leave property to each other. They sign a contract that requires them in turn to sign wills leaving all their assets (or part of them) to each other. These contracts have been ruled to take precedence over a payable-on-death designation on a bank account. D. designation gets wiped out by the contract. Example: Scott and Terry sign a contract in which each promises to make a will leaving all their assets to the other.

Required Distributions From Retirement Accounts If you save and invest wisely, you can leave a substantial amount in an individual retirement account—but for most accounts, there are limits. The IRS wants to keep these accounts restricted to their original purpose of providing a decent income during your retirement. You (or your beneficiaries) will be in for severe financial penalties if you violate the rules. Roth IRAs. There are no required distributions from Roth IRAs. As a result, a Roth IRA could contain a much larger amount at your death than a comparable traditional IRA or 401(k)—and pass that larger amount on without probate.

It’s important to realize that you can’t name an alternate payee—that is, someone to inherit the money if your first choice doesn’t outlive you. In other words, if you list three payees on a bank’s form, the bank won’t consider your list to be a ranking in order of preference. For example, some bank forms provide three spaces for beneficiaries’ names. It’s not uncommon for people to assume that beneficiary #1 will get all the money, and that if he isn’t alive at your death, then #2 will inherit it, and so on.

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8 Ways to Avoid Probate, 5th edition 2004 by Mary Randolph

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