Transferring Ownership of Stocks After Death

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Is it Possible for Me to Purchase Securities that Can be Passed on to Beneficiaries?

It depends on what state you live in, but in any state that has adopted the Uniform Transfer On-Death Security Registration Act you may arrange for your securities (e.g., stocks, mutual funds) to be transferred to a beneficiary when you die, making the beneficiary the new owner of the securities.

What Is the Benefit of Transferring Ownership of My Securities?

When you transfer ownership of your securities under the Uniform Transfer On-Death Security Registration Act, you do not need to put your securities into a will. The benefit of this is that your securities will not have to go through probate, so they provide a source of funding to your beneficiaries that can be quickly turned into liquidated cash to be used for your estate's expenses and debts.

How Can I Arrange to Transfer Ownership of My Securities to My Beneficiaries?

In order to create a "beneficiary form" of your securities, you must register your securities as being "ransferable on death" (TOD) with the financial intermediary you purchased those securities from. After you have died, your beneficiary can request to have the securities reregistered in her name along with a copy of your death certificate as the required proof of your death.

Should I Consult an Attorney when Planning My Estate?

Trying to create a plan for what will happen to your estate after you have died can be quite a complex and confusing process. There are many options, having different tax implications and other consequences on your estate and beneficiaries. It is wise to consult an attorney who has experience with estate planning. Your attorney can advise you of all options available, and help you decide which ones would be most beneficial to accomplishing your goals for your estate.

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Last Modified: 01-04-2011 12:04 PM PST

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