Q: If my executor is my 100% TOD beneficiary, can I also designate that others will receive $$ gifts from that same amount?
I want to make settling my estate a simple process for my executor. I'm thinking I will pay one beneficiary via TOD/POD transfers (my executor), then instruct him to divide what he is paid amongst two or three others. So, I guess I'm wondering...should I just choose to SPLIT my assets (via TOD's) among certain people in my will or GIVE it ALL to my executor and let him divide it per my instructions? Finally, if I choose to make my executor the SOLE beneficiary...can he simply choose to keep the ENTIRE amount of financial assets? Thanks!
A: My suggestion would be to have TOD on all of your accounts, and split them between all of your beneficiaries in whatever percentages you desire. If all of your assets are liquid, you can avoid Probate simply by naming beneficiaries on your accounts. If you don't have TOD, then the funds become part of your estate, and will more than likely go through Probate (depending upon the value). If you do that, then your Will dictates how your Executor disposes of those assets. If you leave all of your funds to your executor as TOD, then those funds become his/hers to do with as they wish, which includes keeping all of the money. Also, even if you name your beneficiary TOD and he/she does later split the funds per your wishes, those funds become a 'gift' from your executor so they could have gift tax implications (again depending upon the value).
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