Eric Greenhow

Why Asset Titling Is Important

By Eric Greenhow

Asset titling is of the utmost importance for you and your family – but you might be asking why.

  • Do you have your children listed on any of your accounts as a joint owner?  
  • Do your parents or other individuals have you listed on some of their accounts as a joint owner?

If so, this can potentially expose you and your family to much more liability than you would expect.

Joint accounts

Imagine a scenario in which you name your child as a joint owner of one of your checking accounts, investment accounts, piece of real estate, etc.

Following this, an unexpected event occurs. An example might be that your child has a failed business venture, and a credit is pursuing their assets, or they are involved in an automobile accident in which the other party sues.

In either case, it’s possible for your child’s creditors to attempt putting claims on your accounts! No matter how much you care about your child’s well-being, this is not an intended or desirable outcome.

Assets or accounts with no named beneficiaries or POA

Another titling issue that commonly occurs: an asset or account has no named beneficiaries or no “Power of Attorney” designation. If you become incapacitated and have not authorized anyone else to sign for you in the event it’s needed, your account — in effect — is frozen. Your brokerage firm or bank won’t be able to take instructions from anyone else pertaining to your affairs.

Avoiding probate

What if you pass away unexpectedly and have no named beneficiaries designated to inherit your assets? In that case, the assets could then pass through the probate legal process. If you have heard about probate, you know it can be a lengthy process with a lot of hassle.

How a financial advisor can help

Your advisor can identify how your various assets are currently titled and make any necessary changes. Be certain you have named a trusted person to sign for you in the event you are unable. Also, ensure there are beneficiaries in line to receive these assets.

This column is sponsored by Allen & Company, and the opinions
expressed herein may not reflect those of CFAN or of its advertisers.

BIO: Born and raised in the Central Florida area, Eric
Greenhow strives for excellence — embodying the spirit and core
values of Allen & Company. He is nationally recognized for his
industry leadership and community service, and is a Chartered
Financial Analyst® and CFP®. For more information about
Eric and the Allen Investments Team, call 863.294.7411 or visit

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