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What to Know About Payable on Death (POD) Accounts

This article was written by Logan Amstutz, 3Rivers Shares Manager.

A payable on death (POD) account is used by banks and credit unions to help members transfer their funds to their desired beneficiaries upon the members’ passing. These types of arrangements are typically used on bank accounts, such as checking, savings, and time deposit certificates. Typically, the account holder(s) establish their beneficiary designation(s) through the use of a form, which allows the bank or credit union to transfer the funds to the named beneficiary individual(s) upon their passing, streamlining the process of transferring their financial assets.

Hands signing a document.

What are the benefits of having a Payable on Death?

The primary benefit of establishing payable on death is to ensure that your beneficiaries have quick access to funds. Since payable on death accounts bypass probate, your beneficiaries won’t have to wait for court order to access the funds. Typically, they will just need to provide identification and bring in a death certificate to get access to funds. This can greatly reduce the time it takes your beneficiaries to get access to necessary funds.

Are there any drawbacks to establishing a Payable on Death?

While payable on death beneficiary designations are the easiest and simplest way to establish a plan for what happens to your deposit accounts in the event of your passing, they aren’t the best course for everyone. Payable on death beneficiary designations do not follow a will or any other planned estate directives, so if you have those established, you should speak with your estate planner before making changes to ensure the changes are in line with your desires.

Also, for those who wish to ensure their funds are used in a specific manner by their beneficiaries, this method of transfer cannot protect your wishes. For that type of estate plan, you may want to discuss a Trust with your attorney or with our Members Trust department. A Trust can help to ensure that your funds are used in the ways you wish, such as providing for your beneficiaries future educational goals, providing a living stipend for your beneficiaries, or any number of other circumstances.

How do I establish a Payable on Death at 3Rivers?

Establishing a payable on death beneficiary can be done at any of our branches or by reaching out to our Contact Center. You’ll need to fill out a form to establish the payable on death designations and provide all of the following information for each payable on death beneficiary:

  • Full Name
  • Social Security Number
  • Date of Birth
  • Current Address

Questions? We’re here to help. Get in touch with us at 800.825.3641 or schedule an appointment today!

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