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POD accounts skip probate

On Behalf of | Apr 15, 2022 | Estate planning

Are you interested in ways that you can skip the probate process? Maybe you’ve been thinking about estate planning, and you just want things to happen as efficiently as possible. You also want to avoid any costs that could come along with probate. You’re trying to keep your assets out of it by giving them directly to your heirs. 

One way to do this is to use a POD account. POD stands for payable on death. As that name implies, when you pass away, the account can then quickly be passed on to somebody else. You pick this beneficiary in advance. They own the account once they can show that you have passed away. 

For instance, you could do this with your savings account at your local bank. If you have $10,000 in that account when you pass away and your oldest child is named as the beneficiary, the account transfers into their name without anything going through probate. 

Update the beneficiary when necessary 

If you do use POD accounts as part of your estate planning, one thing to remember is that these beneficiary designations are going to stand. If you want to change them, don’t just change the rest of your estate plan. What you say in your will isn’t going to matter. You need to go through and update the actual beneficiaries on the account to make this change. If you fail to do so, then the money still goes directly to the old beneficiary, and the will doesn’t have any effect since that money isn’t in probate to start with. 

It’s important to do all this properly, so take care to look into the necessary legal steps.