Make Arrangements for Closing Bank Accounts in Your Estate Plan

bank accounts, close naperville lawyerWhile most people realize the importance of preparing for the future, making arrangements for your property and assets in the event of your death is not easy. However, for the sake of your family and loved ones, as well as your own peace of mind, it is important to develop a comprehensive estate plan that addresses how your belongings and interests will be handled when you are gone. In my practice as an estate planning attorney, I am proud to help individuals and families find the security they deserve through careful preparation and attention to even the smallest details.

When you think about estate planning, the most obvious elements probably come to mind. You may start giving thought to who will get your home, your car, or the artwork hanging in your office. Estate planning, though, means more than dividing your property; you must also be sure to provide mechanisms for accessing your assets. For example, did you know that, upon your death, money sitting in your bank accounts may be off-limits to your family unless you have make explicit arrangements?

Policies for Individual Bank Accounts

Most banks and financial institutions have developed policies for how bank accounts are to be handled in the event of the accountholder’s death. In many cases, you can establish a payable-on-death, or POD, beneficiary. This allows the bank to disburse the remaining funds to a person of your choosing, often selected when the account is initially opened. Of course, the bank will require proof of the accountholder’s passing, typically in the form of a state-issued death certificate. If no POD beneficiary has been designated and the account has not been placed in any type of trust, the assets will generally be frozen until the probate process determines what should be done with the money.

Automated Bill Pay

In today’s digital world, a growing number of people set up utility bills, credit card payments, and other obligations to be automatically debited from their bank account. While electronic bill pay programs are very convenient and can help you avoid late or missed payments, they can create complications in freezing or closing your accounts after your death. In your estate plan, you will need to be sure your executor or other appointed representative is prepared to work with your creditors to make alternative payment arrangements when they become necessary.

Helping You With Your Financial Concerns

There are a number of factors to consider when drafting your will, living trust, or other estate planning documents. At The Gierach Law Firm, our team has the knowledge and skill to help ensure that you have covered all of the important details, including those that may not be immediately obvious. For more information, contact an experienced Naperville estate planning attorney today to schedule an appointment.