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"Payable on death" beneficiaries in estate planning

As our readers know from previous posts here, there are many different options to consider when it comes to estate planning. Different people enter the process with different goals, which means that different estate planning documents could be ideal for each individual's circumstances. For some people, avoiding the probate process is the highest priority. For these people, it might be smart to consider "payable on death" options in an estate plan.

Some people may not realize it, but they have probably already used some of the different types of accounts that can have a payable on death designation. As a recent article notes, bank accounts, investment accounts and certificates of deposit are all the types of accounts and investments that people can attach a payable on death designation. This means that the funds in the accounts are marked to be paid out to a particular beneficiary when the account holder dies.

Life insurance policies, obviously, are also a type of payable on death estate planning device. Our readers know how life insurance works: monthly premium payments are made and, upon death, a certain amount is paid out to a designated beneficiary. A payout from a life insurance policy doesn't go through the probate process.

New Jersey residents have plenty of options when it comes to estate planning. When people are considering the advantages or disadvantages of certain types of estate planning devices, it is important to get the right information about the options. Just because there are a lot of options doesn't mean that people should avoid the estate planning process.

Source:, "Even more options for estate planning," May 3, 2017

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