A securities or brokerage account titled transferable-on-death (TOD) lets you name one or more beneficiaries, to whom the account assets are transferred when you die. TOD accounts are available only in some states, and laws may vary.
Nonetheless, TOD accounts can be useful estate planning tools where they are available, since the assets in the account can pass to your beneficiaries directly, outside the probate process.
A similar type of registration is available in some states for bank accounts. They're known as payable-on-death, or POD, accounts.