Yes, there are other ways of leaving property to a beneficiary outside of a will or a trust. Most commonly, you would have beneficiary designations within life insurance policies and retirement plan benefits commonly. You also may own property jointly with right of survivorship typically in a marital situation. Then you may have what are called payable on death or transfer on death provisions on other liquid accounts like bank accounts or brokerage accounts. There are a number of methods of distributing property to beneficiaries outside of wills and trusts. An estate planning attorney can assist you to make sure your overall plan is coordinated to meet your ultimate distribution goals.
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Michael L. Cahill is an attorney and certified public accountant providing estate planning, probate and tax services in the St. Petersburg, Seminole, Largo, Clearwater and Florida gulf beach communities.