Across the United States, stock ownership is extremely common and this is why the question about what happens to stock ownership transfer when the holder passes away is of great importance to many individuals.
There are numerous variables that impact this, but the most important one has to do with whether or not the stocks are jointly owned. Since Massachusetts is not a community property state, you need to walk through your planning options with an attorney to make sure all of your assets and accounts are organized properly.
Typically, any jointly owned equities pass to the survivor, although laws of different states can differ especially when it comes to what is classified as separate property. One of the most common methods for passing stock along is to use a registration referred to as ‘transfer on death.’.This means that a named beneficiary can take ownership of the stocks while avoiding the probate process.
Bear in mind that not all states allow for transfer on death registration for stocks, meaning that the probate process could still be required when the inheritance comes through a will or intestacy. If you are thinking about planning ahead for your own future, you will carefully want to consider all assets and how you want them included in your planning.
Meeting with a Masschusetts estate planning attorney can be extremely helpful if you intend to outline the distribution of assets that you wish to exclude from probate. Using tools like trust, for example, can help ensure that you maintain control over the distribution of assets without having concerns associated with your beneficiaries having to go through the probate process. You can talk over your options with an estate planning attorney about how jointly owned property will be treated when you pass away.
An estate planning attorney can also help you walk through all of the different assets in your estate to ensure that you have provided for the appropriate planning for each of them. Taking a comprehensive look at your estate planning is always beneficial.