Trusts & Estates Law/Estate Planning

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QUESTION: Hi David,

I have a couple of questions about estate planning in Illinois. Some of the research I have done states that the only assets I can put in a will are the ones I own exclusively. My house, bank accounts and CDs are all held jointly with my brother. I know I can list a beneficiary on the CDs....BUT is it possible to list successor beneficiaries on the CDs as well? Also, how do I go about naming a beneficiary for the house we own?

ANSWER: Bob,

What you are referring to is probate a non-probate assets.  Jointly held assets (joint tenants with rights of survivor-ship) do NOT pass according to your will but according to the joint tenant (normally).

Regarding the house, should your brother predecease you - you need a will to dictate where those assets go - for that matter any assets that you own.  Therefore, if you own joint property it will pass to the joint tenant if they are alive.  The bank may offer alternate beneficiaries.  You will have to ask them.  With the house, it would fall back into your estate of you outlive your brother.  Does this help.  If you have other questions let me know.

Regards,

David Disraeli

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for the quick reply.

Should I write a will now and include the house, which would fall back to my estate or do I have to wait until the joint owner dies to include the house in my will?

Also, how would we dictate where the house goes if we happen to die at the same time, for example a car accident?

Answer
Bob if you die and you brother is no living is goes to his estate not yours.  Remember jt property does not follow the dicatates of a will.  There are legal way to do what you want but they would involve a local attorney which I am not.  Think of it like this:  If you own joint property and the other tenant either predeceases you or dies at the same time he his estate still gets the property.

At least in texas the only way I know of to do have it revert back to you is to own in as Joint Tenants in common.  This means the first to die can use his/her will to pass the property.  Again that is in Texas.

David

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David Disraeli

Expertise

I can answer general questions about estate planning and trusts. I can also answer questions about estate tax reduction and advanced charitable giving, family partnerships and asset protection. I may have already answered your question here: www.lifeplanblog.com or here www.pcfo.net

Experience

I have worked for 24 years with clients and their attorneys to formulate estate plans to meet client goals. I have found many mistakes made by client attorneys and were able to have them corrected. I focus on making sure that beneficiaries are protected from current or future spouses and lawsuits so the wealth stays in the family. I have also published a book on Aging Parents which can be found on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003VP9WTG

Organizations
President and founder of The Personal CFO Inc.

Publications
www.pcfo.net www.lifeplanblog.com

Education/Credentials
Certified Financial Planner 1994

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