Should You Use a Payable On Death (POD) Account?
Payable on death (POD) accounts can provide a more direct path to transferring some of your assets to your loved ones after you pass. These accounts are exactly what they sound like—an account you establish at a bank or credit union with a designated beneficiary, who takes control of the assets immediately upon your death.
Traditional accounts do not have a named beneficiary, and must be dealt with through other methods of estate planning. A POD account could be a checking, savings or money market account, depending on your wishes.
The benefits of using POD accounts
The primary benefit of using a POD account is that these accounts and their assets are not subject to probate, meaning, your designated beneficiary will get their inheritance quickly without much legal trouble.
You also are still able to maintain control over the assets of the account while you are still alive. This is different than certain types of trusts that avoid probate but require you to give up control over those assets.
The drawbacks of a POD account
Beneficiaries of POD accounts cannot access the money in an account so long as you are still alive. If you become incapacitated and your loved ones need to access that money, that could create some complications that are avoided by using certain types of trusts or jointly owned bank accounts.
For more information about the functionality of POD accounts and whether it is worth using one as part of your estate planning, contact an experienced Tampa, FL estate planning lawyer at BaumannKangas Estate Law.