Update Beneficiaries and Transfer-on-Death Designations
What Is It?
Beneficiaries and Transfer-on-Death (TOD) designations are different ways to say who receives the account assets upon death of the owner. The term "beneficiaries" is used on life insurance contracts and retirement accounts. "TOD" is used for normal bank accounts and non-retirement investments accounts. In some states you can also use TOD for vehicles or real estate. These designations allow the assets to avoid probate.
Do We Need It?
Yes. These are relatively easy to set up and are great because their assets avoid probate. It is important to know that they also take priority over any contrary designations mentioned in a will.
What To Do?
1. Check online to see if beneficiaries for that financial instution can be changed there
2. If not, go to the bank or call the financial institution. They might require an original signature.
3. Fill out the form.
4. Submit the form.
5. Upon death, the person named as beneficiary takes a death certificate and personal identification to the bank or financial institution to receive the inheritance.