“Timing is everything.” You’ve said it yourself. And where legacy planning is concerned, there’s no better time than now to plan for your future. It’s so easy to put off the process – no one likes to think about their mortality, let alone talk about the possibility of incapacitation or how and when they’ll die.
However, regardless of how old you are or how much wealth you’ve accumulated, you probably want to make sure the assets you leave behind after you’re gone will continue to support your loved ones and the important causes in your life. But making sure your legacy passes on according to your wishes doesn’t happen without some effort on your part – and it might require the assistance of qualified financial, tax, and legal advisors along the way.
Whether you’re in the planning stages or are reviewing an existing estate plan, you may want to consider the following banking tips.
Make these banking moves part of your strategy
Make sure you have structured your accounts for ease of day-to-day processing. You can choose typical account titling, whether it be in one person’s name, jointly titled with multiple account owners, or titled in the name of a trust.
Keep in mind banking accounts can have a payable on death (POD) designation to a beneficiary of your choosing. This is an especially important consideration if your account is titled in an individual name. By naming beneficiaries to your various accounts, those assets will, in most cases, transfer to the named beneficiaries without going through probate.
This is a good thing for several reasons:
Probate is a public process, thus allowing outside parties to potentially gain information on the nature of your assets or the value of your estate.
The probate process comes with a cost – it can be significant, depending on the total value of the assets in your estate.
The probate process can be long and cumbersome.
Titling multiple accounts differently is common. Some individuals who establish revocable trusts decide to title one account in their personal name and another account in the name of their revocable trust. They do this because they receive distributions such as stock dividends, checks made payable to the trust, etc., and financial institutions want the items presented to match the titling of their accounts. This allows for ease of handling in day-to-day activities.
If you make changes to your estate plan or adjustments to your trust documents, be sure the current titling on your bank accounts matches the names set forth in the most current documents you have in place.
Next steps During legacy planning, you can encounter many uncertainties associated with the decision-making process. Discussing your goals with your Private Banker and your Commerce Trust Company team of professionals is a great first step in ensuring your estate is protected and your legacy is passed on according to your wishes. Call us today.
Commerce does not provide tax advice or legal advice to customers. While we may provide information or express general opinions from time to time, such information or opinions are not offered as professional tax or legal advice. Consult a tax specialist regarding tax implications related to any product and specific financial situation. This material is intended to provide general information only, may be of value to the reader and audience, and is reflective of the opinions of Commerce Trust Company. Commerce Trust Company is a division of Commerce Bank. Securities and Advisory services provided through Commerce Brokerage Services, Inc., member FINRA, SIPC, and a registered investment advisor. Insurance products are offered through Commerce Insurance Services, Inc. Both entities are subsidiaries of Commerce Bank. This material is not a recommendation of any particular security, is not based on any particular financial situation or need, and is not intended to replace the advice of a qualified attorney, tax advisor or investment professional. The information in this commentary should not be construed as an individual recommendation of any kind. Strategies discussed here in a general manner may not be appropriate for everyone. Diversification does not guarantee a profit or protect against all risk. Past performance is no guarantee of future results, and the opinions and other information in the investment commentary are as of May 27, 2022. Commerce does not provide tax advice or legal advice to customers. Consult a tax specialist regarding tax implications related to any product or specific financial situation. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed, and is subject to change rapidly as additional information regarding global conditions may change. All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice depending upon worldwide market, economic or political conditions. Securities and Advisory services provided through Commerce Brokerage Services, Inc., member FINRA, SIPC, and a registered investment advisor. Insurance products are offered through Commerce Insurance Services, Inc. Both entities are subsidiaries of Commerce Bank. Not FDIC Insured | May Lose Value | Not Bank Guaranteed | Not Insured by Any Federal Government Agency