4 Tips to Ensure the Transfer of Assets Upon Death

Accounts titled in your name alone will be distributed to your estate upon your death.

Four tips to help ensure your assets are transferred according to your wishes.

  1. Be Careful How You Title All Accounts And Assets.
    Accounts titled in your name alone will be distributed to your estate upon your death. If an account is jointly owned with someone who has “right of survivorship” — or if an account names one or more beneficiaries — its assets will be distributed upon your death to the joint owner or the named beneficiary. It’s important to understand that assets held in either of these types of accounts will not be distributed according to the terms of your will.
  2. Title Your Brokerage, Bank and Other Accounts.
    May seem like a fairly straightforward process. However, one misstep or oversight could potentially wreak havoc on your overall financial and estate plan. Barbara Screven, a vice president with Regions Private Wealth Management specializing in trust and estate planning, offers these recommendations for ensuring your accounts are titled correctly.
  3. Consider The Consequences Of Not Naming Beneficiaries.
    Assets held in accounts without a designated beneficiary will be paid to your estate and bequeathed according to the terms of your will. However, it may take longer for your heirs to receive assets, if they are distributed through the will rather than directly through beneficiary designations.
  4. Evaluate The Impact To Your Estate Plan Whenever You Change How Assets Are Titled.
    Let’s say your children are the primary beneficiaries named under your will. You have an investment account titled solely in your name that you want your children to inherit. But you later use some of the account’s assets to purchase real estate with a sibling and title the property as joint with right of survivorship. When you pass away, your children could receive less inheritance than you originally intended, while your sibling inherits the full value of the real estate. Make sure to evaluate the consequences of such moves to your estate plans and consider how to title or re-title your accounts and assets accordingly.
  5. Review Your Account Titles And Named Beneficiaries With Your Financial Advisors Regularly.
    Naming beneficiaries on retirement accounts and insurance policies and titling accounts is an ongoing process. You’ll especially want to review your choices whenever you or an heir experiences a significant life event, such as a birth, adoption, marriage, divorce or death, as well as when tax laws change.

Your Regions Wealth Advisor can help you review the titles on your various accounts and assets to help ensure they are accurate, up-to-date and aligned with your overall estate plans.


This information is general in nature and is not intended to be legal, tax, or financial advice. Although Regions believes this information to be accurate, it cannot ensure that it will remain up to date. Statements or opinions of individuals referenced herein are their own—not Regions'. Consult an appropriate professional concerning your specific situation and irs.gov for current tax rules. Regions, the Regions logo, and the LifeGreen bike are registered trademarks of Regions Bank. The LifeGreen color is a trademark of Regions Bank.