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Stock can be transferred after you pass away and it can be a simple process.

The transfer of stocks after you pass away is not only possible but relatively simple if the rules are known and that is important when preparing an estate plan. Recently, the Motley Fool discussed the possibilities in “What Happens to the Ownership of Stocks After a Person Dies.”

The options include:

  • If you are married and the stocks are jointly owned by your spouse, then after you pass away, full ownership will automatically go to your spouse. You do not need to do anything else.
  • You can designate a beneficiary and make the stocks transfer on death to that beneficiary. The Uniform Transfer on Death Securities Registration Act which has been adopted in many states makes this process very simple. The beneficiary will need to reregister the stocks.
  • If you do not take action and own the stocks in your name alone with no transfer on death designation, then the stocks will need to go through the normal probate process. If you have a will, ownership will be transferred according to the directions in that will. Otherwise, ownership will go to your closest living relative as determined by your state’s intestate statute.

An estate planning attorney can set up the transfer as part of your estate plan.

Reference: Motley Fool (Feb. 27, 2016) “What Happens to the Ownership of Stocks After a Person Dies.”

Mr. Amoruso concentrates his practice on Elder Law, Comprehensive Estate Planning, Asset Preservation, Estate Administration and Guardianship.