Ensuring proper asset titles important part of estate planning

| Feb 27, 2019 | Estate Planning

Creating an estate plan is a beneficial step that many Colorado adults choose to take. However, if mistakes with those plans exist, the estate planning process they went through could end up being for naught. In particular, if a person wants to avoid probate or has other specific wishes for his or her estate and assets, mistakes could easily derail those intentions.

In particular, if individuals do not properly title their assets, those assets may not pass on as previously thought. In efforts to avoid probate, some parties may choose to transfer the titles of their assets into the name or names of their intended beneficiaries. However, even if one piece of property or account is not properly titled, that asset will likely have to go through probate, especially if the asset remains in the name of the deceased.

Additionally, it is wise to understand how title will affect property distribution in other ways. For instance, if a person wants to pass a piece of property to a child but that asset is jointly owned by someone other than the child, it will pass to the joint owner instead, even if the will indicates that the distribution should go differently. Because intentions and mixups could easily cause confusion and complications among surviving family, it is important that titling mistakes are avoided as best as possible.

It is also important to remember that even if Colorado residents have financial advisors helping them with important accounts and other assets, those advisors often do not have extensive estate planning knowledge. As a result, assets may not be titled in a way that would coincide with an estate plan. For instance, what happens if the named beneficiary predeceaes – does that share go to their children (the grandchildren), or to the other living beneficiaries? Fortunately, attorneys knowledgeable in this area of law could help interested parties ensure that all of their assets are titled properly and that that they fall in line with the terms of estate plans.