Becky Cholewka says:
I wanted to take a moment and give you a couple tips about your checking savings and brokerage accounts. One way to make sure these accounts avoid the probate process is to make sure you have a beneficiary listed on each of your accounts. That does not mean one beneficiary form per institution- like if you bank at Bank of America and you have three accounts at Bank of America then you need to make sure you have a beneficiary form for each account.
On the beneficiary form you can actually have a primary beneficiary as well as a backup beneficiary. I like to have as many options filled on there as possible, just in case somebody dies with you in a car accident we’re still going to have a backup beneficiary available to you. On the form you can name multiple people as a beneficiary. For example, if you have three children you can state “To my children equally” or “1/3rd to each child”. Or some banks need percentages, so if you have three kids you may have to choose which child gets 34%, while the other two will each get 33%. Make sure when you are doing percentages that everything adds up to 100%.
Again, if you have those forms completed properly when you die, those accounts will not be counted as assets that have to go through the probate process. They instead will go to those individuals as you stated without the need for probate. Just another quick tip that you can go down to the bank and take care of this weekend.