Estate Planning Red Flag – You have assets in payable-on-death accounts
Abstract: Payable-on-death (POD) accounts provide an inexpensive way to transfer assets outside of probate. They can be used for bank accounts, certificates of deposit or even brokerage accounts. Setting one up is as easy as providing the bank with a signed POD beneficiary designation form. When a person dies, his or her beneficiaries just need to present a certified copy of the death certificate and their identification to the bank, and the money or securities are theirs. However, POD accounts can backfire if they’re not coordinated carefully with the rest of an estate plan. This brief article uses a fictional example to explain why.