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"Payable on Death" Acct. Bypass Beneficiary?

May a "Payable on Death" account bypass payment to the beneficiary and go straight to the estate account if the Executor requests this?

by Brian Crow:

Probate laws vary from state to state but generally the law says that a Totten Trust would supersede any designations in a will. The Executor does not have the authority to override a Totten Trust designation. If you are not sure of the requirements for distributing proceeds after the owner of an account has died, check with counsel familiar with the probate laws of your state.


by Ken Golliher:

Said differently: The personal representative of the decedent's estate has control over the probate estate; i.e. the property that stood in the decedent's name only at the time of death. The personal representative is entitled to information about the decedent's accounts with survivorship provisions, but he has no control over them.


by John Burnett:

It may be possible for a designated POD beneficiary to disclaim ownership of the funds in favor of the estate, but that is a matter of state law, and not something the bank should permit without first checking with legal counsel.

First published on 09/16/2018

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