Sometimes you can be lulled into a false sense of security because you feel as though you have taken a step that provides protection on some level without actually seeking professional guidance. This is something to beware of when you consider the value of payable on death accounts.
These accounts, sometimes referred to as transfer on death accounts, allow for a beneficiary to assume ownership of the resources that remain in the account after the death of the primary account holder. While this may sound like a very simple and streamlined estate planning solution there are many things that payable on death accounts do not accomplish.
Some people are in a position where they have to concern themselves with the realities of the federal estate tax, and these accounts do not provide estate tax efficiency. Asset protection is a concern for many individuals as well and since you directly own the resources that are in the account throughout your life they are not protected from creditors and claimants.
The possibility of incapacity is another thing to consider. If you were to become incapacitated and unable to handle your own financial affairs your beneficiary would have no immediate access to the funds in the account.
The message here is to avoid falling into the trap that exists in the form of overly simplistic solutions to somewhat complicated situations. Providing for the loved ones that you will be leaving behind is a serious matter, and it is something that requires the advice of an expert.
Should you be interested in devising an intelligent, holistic, and informed strategy for the future well-being of your loved ones take action right now to arrange for a consultation with a seasoned, savvy South Carolina estate planning lawyer.