The goal of your estate plan is to dispense as much of your assets and property as possible to those you love. One way you can ensure this happens is to diversify how you do this.
A diversified estate plan implements several fiduciary methods to help your loved ones get the assets you set aside as fast and seamlessly as possible. Some of these may also circumvent probate and allow your family access to money quickly.
When you want to place parameters on how and when your loved ones get property and assets, a trust may work well. With a trust, you can release funds when kids reach age benchmarks if you choose, or it may simply pass upon your death. A trust bypasses probate court because the items in it no longer belong to you; the trust owns the assets and property deposited into it, making these outside your ownership.
Your retirement accounts and insurance policies ask you to designate beneficiaries and the percentage share you want each to receive upon your death. Any account with a beneficiary designation such as this disburses as you indicate when you set it up and, therefore, does not go through court.
A joint account or piece of property is another way to ensure that the people you choose receive the assets you indicate. Co-owned bank accounts and pieces of property pass directly to the other person or persons on the account. Remember, you can have more than one co-owner as long as the account is set up that way.
Creating an estate plan with more than one way to dispose of your assets is critical to helping your family move forward after you die.