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POD with Multiple Beneficiaries

Can a POD account be set up with three beneficiaries that would each receive one third of the account balance upon the death of the owner? What is required in order to release the account balance to the beneficiaries?

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The answer to your question will be found in two places. First, the laws of the state where you wish to open the account may have restrictions on the number of beneficiaries that may be named per account. Second, the bank where you would like to set up the account may have restrictions on how many beneficiaries it will accept per account, because the more beneficiaries, the greater the potential complications for the bank when it's time to pay out the funds. Where state law permits multiple beneficiaries, you will likely find that most banks will accept three.

A bank with a POD account normally requires documentation of the death of the account owner or all joint owners in the case of a joint account, which would normally be a certified copy of the owner's death certificate. In addition, each beneficiary has to provide satisfactory identification before the bank will release funds. It is most helpful to the bank for all beneficiaries to coordinate their claims to the funds, so that the bank isn't faced with the need to make multiple disbursements.

Published on BankingQuestions.com 6/05/08