Lesser Lutrey Pasquesi & Howe LLP, Attorneys at Law

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How can a Totten trust help your loved ones?

Most adults have bank accounts that they use on a regular basis. One question that often comes up when a person dies is who will get control of the bank account. You can make your wishes clear about this by getting the Totten trust for the bank account set up. 

A Totten trust is simply a payable-on-death account that can bypass probate. When you start the account, you name the person who gets control of the account when you pass away. You don’t have to include this account in your will, so they won’t have to wait for the reading of the will to access the money in the account. 

What can (and can’t) a Totten trust do?

One of the most important things to know about a Totten trust is that it doesn’t provide the person with access to your account until you die. Even if you’re incapacitated, the person named won’t have control over the account unless they’re also your financial power of attorney.

The Totten trust passes down whatever is in the account when you die. The person you name won’t have to go through the probate process to access the account. This can provide them with some privacy while they grieve your loss. 

Making sure you can take care of your loved ones after you die is important. Having a comprehensive estate plan is one way you can do this. Because these plans can be rather complex, it’s usually best to have legal guidance as you fully explore your options and determine what works best for your family.

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