Among the considerations your Mount Vernon and Yonkers estate planning lawyer will explore with you include having another person able to carry on business and pay bills if you cannot or no longer wish to during your lifetime. You should also discuss how you will ensure that cash is readily available to pay estate bills upon your passing. There are a variety of ways bank accounts can be set up to accomplish these goals.
You can add a person, typically an adult child, to your account as a joint tenant, who then has equal ownership and will have sole ownership of the account when you pass. This has some potential downside, as a Yonkers estate planning lawyer cautions:
- The joint tenant could access the account funds for any purpose
- The funds may be vulnerable to a third party claim, such as from the joint tenant’s creditors or spouse in a divorce proceeding
- If your intent is for the account funds to be part of your general estate and not to go solely to the joint tenant, this can create confusion
Pay on Death Accounts
POD accounts allow the transfer of the account funds directly to a named beneficiary by operation of law and are not considered part of your probate estate. If the beneficiary is the intended recipient of the funds, a POD account works well but does not allow the beneficiary any control of the account funds during your lifetime.
A convenience account operates by allowing you to name an agent who may deposit or withdraw funds or write checks on the account but only for the benefit of you, the principal; the agent has no ownership in the account funds. As no right of survivorship exists with a convenience account, the agent has no claim of interest in the funds when you pass.
Contact a Mount Vernon and Yonkers Estate Planning Lawyer for Legal Advice
You can never be certain what the future holds; a well-crafted estate plan contemplates various scenarios and establishes contingencies that will ensure your wishes are fulfilled to the best extent possible. To learn how to protect your assets and your family’s future or for a review of your current plan, call Rogers & Rogers, Esq., a Bronx, Mount Vernon and Yonkers estate planning lawyer group, at (718) 994-1640 or email evan(a)rogersandrogersesq.com