Streamline Your Estate Plan

 In Learning Center

If there is a basic tip for clients it’s to streamline your estate plan.

To often clients have so many financial assets that are spread out far and wide. When someone passes away, there is a pile of paper that everyone looks to make sense of. In probate court, the executor or administrator is going to have to provide the value of the assets as of the date of death. So for stocks, this is going to be the number of shares of stock that the decedent owned multiplied by the value of a share of that stock on the date of death. While this may sound simple, it’s often not always that easy to find out how many shares of stock someone owned.

What happens in real life? Family members sort through check stubs from stock dividend payments from various points in time to figure out how many shares someone owned in that particular quarter of the year. If they have them. Sometimes it may even mean waiting until the end of the next calendar quarter to get the latest dividend check to show the amount of shares that someone owns.  This can be a nightmare and the individual stock companies often have a very complicated process to obtain information about a decedent’s stocks.

There’s an easy way to remedy this problem. Put the stocks into a single brokerage account. It’s still the same stock. You still get the dividend checks. But now there is one place to go to see all of the stock values. Since this is an account, you can even designate beneficiaries for the account.

As you accumulate more assets, it’s always a great idea to try to streamline your estate plan.

If you’re ready to quit worrying and get started, click here or call 330-421-6861.