Are you using non-probate transfer devices such as joint ownership, transfer on death (TOD), payable on death (POD), beneficiary designations, and life estate deeds as the sole basis of your estate plan? If so, you are sacrificing the element of control, possibly causing unnecessary taxation, and generally forfeiting the benefits of conventional estate planning. Furthermore, if unexpected future events should arise, it is possible that certain of these dispositive techniques will cause a distribution of your assets you did not contemplate. Except in limited special circumstances or to achieve specific planning goals, the use of non-probate transfer devices as the sole foundation of estate planning is not advisable.
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