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Account w/ One Person as both A-i-F and POD

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Can a person signing as an A-i-F on an account be added as a POD beneficiary on the same account?

It's perfectly acceptable and legal for the owner of an account to name the same individual as attorney-in-fact under a power of attorney and as the payable on death (POD) beneficiary of the account.

A problem arises, however, when an attorney-in-fact attempts to create a prospective change in ownership of the account to be effective at the death of the owner by designating a POD beneficiary, because powers of attorney don't routinely authorize such actions by the attorney-in-fact. And for an attorney-in-fact to name himself or herself as a POD beneficiary would normally be considered not only unauthorized but also self-serving and a violation of fiduciary responsibility. However, there are circumstances under which a power of attorney will include language authorizing the attorney-in-fact to name POD beneficiaries, including himself/herself on accounts of the principal. Only when such language is included in the power of attorney should a bank accept such a request from the attorney-in-fact.

If you have any doubt as to what the power of attorney authorizes, consult bank counsel.

First published on 12/5/11

First published on 12/05/2011

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