United Church of God

Planned Giving: Will Substitutes

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Planned Giving

Will Substitutes

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You can bypass the probate process using a variety of legal methods (called “will substitutes”) when making a gift to the United Church of God or other causes you support.

Bene­fits of will substitutes

  • These are designed to be easy to set up and modify. Most allow simple transfers of ownership, and you can easily name or change bene­ficiaries as your life situation changes.
  • They avoid probate, which usually reduces fees and allows for a quicker distribution.
  • They may allow you to reduce your overall estate taxes.
  • Most providers of these products will help you through the setup process and assist with changes and disbursements.

Common types of will substitutes

  • Bank “Payable-on-Death” or “In Trust For” accounts
  • Investment Transfer-on-Death (TOD) accounts
  • Real Estate Trusts
  • Life insurance or annuity contracts
  • Naming bene­ficiaries on retirement plans (such as 401k, 403b, 457, IRA and SEP)
  • Deeds of Title (with rights of survivorship) whereby a co-owner becomes sole owner on your  death might include:
    • Joint tenancy
    • Tenants by Entirety
    • Community property

As you can tell, estate matters can be complicated. Some will substitutes may have setup costs or need legal wording that requires professional assistance.