Sunday, February 12, 2012

What is a TOD?

TOD, yet another three letter acronym that bounces around in estate planning and probate discussion.  It stands for Transfer on Death.  Essentially it is a beneficiary form put on brokerage accounts. This is slightly different than POD (pay on death) labels that can be put on accounts at banks and or credit unions.  However, the accomplish the same goal - transferring the asset outside of probate.

In the past few years I have heard that brokerage houses are now charging fees of $75 to $250 to create, change, or execute TODs on accounts.  This was NOT the case more than five years ago.  It seems that the new fees cropped up following the financial meltdown.  Ever the frugal person, I'd tell my brokerage house to either wave the fee or I will be searching for an institution that isn't nickle and diming me.

Photo Credit: - free image

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