Planning for Disposition of Your Assets
NDHA can review your assets and develop plans to dispose of your assets during your lifetime or at death. You may consider:
- Using a will. Your will can dispose of your assets directly to the beneficiaries named in your will or can provide for the formation of trusts upon your death (testamentary trusts). Your will does not affect the disposition of your non-probate assets.
- Forming a revocable trust. A revocable trust avoids probate, maintains privacy and provides asset management. Revocable trusts provide no income or estate tax benefits.
- Forming an irrevocable trust. During your life, you can form an irrevocable trust. A gift occurs when an irrevocable trust is formed, but the trust assets will not be included in your gross estate at the time of your death unless you retained some type of interest in the trust.
You also need to review and plan for the disposition of your non-probate assets. NDHA reviews your non-probate assets to ensure that the disposition of those assets is consistent with your wishes and your overall estate plan.
Non-probate assets provide for payment by contract and include a beneficiary designation, which controls the disposition of these assets, not your will. The most common non-probate assets are:
- Life insurance policies;
- Individual retirement accounts;
- 401(k) accounts;
- Other forms of retirement benefit plans;
- Annuities; and
- Accounts held as joint tenants with rights of survivorship.