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New Legislation – You Can Now Pass On Stock To Your Heirs and Avoid Probate

August 18, 2005

New York recently passed legislation that allows you to designate a beneficiary on your stocks. The law is effective January 1, 2006.

Until this new legislation was enacted, an owner of stocks or securities could not name beneficiaries. As a result, many families have been forced to go through sometimes lengthy and costly probate actions to pass securities on to the heirs.

In the past, a common way to avoid probate was to create joint ownership with a child. This could result in adverse tax consequences or even the loss of assets if the child had economic problems (lawsuit, bankruptcy, divorce, etc.).

While this new law can assist you in avoiding probate, it will not protect your stocks or other assets in the event of a long term illness requiring nursing home or home care. To protect your life savings, either long term care insurance or a specially designed family Trust should be considered.

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