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What is a Totten trust?

On Behalf of | Sep 30, 2021 | Estate Planning & Probate

Taking the time to put together an estate plan is one way that you can ensure your loved ones are taken care of in the way you intend after you pass away. Most people think of estate planning as writing out a will and maybe creating a trust or two. What many people don’t realize is that estate planning actually goes far beyond that. 

As you’re getting things together to create your estate plan, there are some assets that you might need to leave out of your will or any trusts you create. Each asset that you own should only be included in one area of your estate plans. If you put something in trust, for example, it shouldn’t be included in your will. You also need to take a close look at your financial accounts to determine if they’re part of a Totten trust.

What is a Totten trust?

A Totten trust is informally known as a “payable on death” account. This is commonly used by financial institutions to pass money down when the account holder dies. When you created the account, you may have named a beneficiary. Because of this, you should ensure that you either don’t include those accounts in your estate plan or that the instructions in the estate plan completely match the ones on the account. Conflicting instructions could mean trouble for the estate.  

Your estate plan should be as comprehensive as possible. Working closely with a professional who’s familiar with situations similar to yours is beneficial since they can provide you with direction and options for how you should set up the estate plan. 

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