Balloon Fest, Tax-Free Income, Avoiding Probate

Nate Crosby |

Ashland Balloonfest Was a Huge Hit (Again)

We have seen social media posts from people all over Ohio and surrounding states, many coming to Ashland for the first time. Our own Macy Vogel witnessed the excitement up close when a balloon landed in her field!

You can learn more about the Ashland Balloonfest here.

Three Sources of Tax-Free Income

After tax season, we had a significant number of people call to inquire about ways to achieve tax-free income in retirement. We posted a podcast in June outlining three sources of tax-free income that anyone can take advantage of no matter how high your income level currently is. For those with income over the phase out limits allowable by the tax code, we even tell you how you can contribute to a Roth IRA. You can listen to the podcast on your way to work here.

Specific Titles and Beneficiaries Avoid Probate

Having a well drafted will can help make sure your assets are dispersed according to your wishes. A will can also ensure that proper guardians are selected for your children. A will does not prevent assets from passing through Probate Court, which can be time consuming and costly to your estate. As planners we try to avoid Probate Court when possible. The way you title assets can help you avoid the costs and delays of Probate Court when passing assets. Below are simple steps you can take to ensure your assets pass efficiently and effectively. 

  1. Make sure your retirement accounts have beneficiaries listed. A beneficiary on an IRA or qualified plan will supersede a will and avoid probate court. It is highly recommended that you list a contingent beneficiary as well in case your primary beneficiary is no longer living when you die. 
  2. Titling assets as Joint Tenancy With Rights of Survivorship (JTWROS) allows for 50/50 ownership of assets. This is common for non-qualified investment accounts in many states, but other assets such as vehicles can be titled this way. JTWROS provides immediate survivorship, thus the assets can avoid Probate. Keep in mind JTWROS gives the other owner equal rights regarding the asset while you are living.  
  3. Bank accounts can be titled as Payable on Death (POD) or Transfer on Death (TOD). 
  4. Unless a life insurance policy is purchased for the purpose of creating liquidity to a trust or estate plan, we typically recommend listing primary and contingent beneficiaries. This way the benefit can be passed tax-free and received by beneficiaries in a timely manner. 

Since wills can be contested by heirs, it is often recommended that same-sex marriages or unmarried partners title their assets properly or list each other as beneficiaries to ensure assets pass as they desire. *CAG recommends that you consult an estate attorney before drafting a will and consult that attorney for estate planning strategies.

We are presently helping clients with:

  • Retirement Planning
  • Business Growth Strategies
  • Life Insurance
  • Home, Auto and Business Insurance
  • Tax Efficient Wealth Strategies


Disclaimer: Crosby Advisory Group, LLC (CAG) is a registered investment advisor and licensed insurance firm. We provide financial planning, business growth strategies and insurance services. Any investments mentioned in this newsletter should not be taken as individual investment advice. Investments possess varying levels of risk and you should understand all risks and costs before making an investment. Not all investments are suitable for all investors.