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Do Spouses and Creditors Have Rights to a POD Bank Account?

A payable on death bank account is one way to enable someone to receive quick access to a bank account when you pass away. It is easier to do than many other forms of estate planning since it often requires the completion of a simple form with your bank directly, however, there are some potential pitfalls to going this route.

You are not able to shortchange your family or creditors with a payable on death bank account. You still have legal obligations even if you successfully avoid probate. A payable on death bank account or any other asset passing outside of probate could be used to pay your taxes or to support your spouse or minor children temporarily and can also be subject to the claims of creditors or your family.

If you live in a community property state your spouse is already the legal owner of a half interest in your account even if the account was only in your name. Make sure that you discuss your options directly with an experienced estate planning lawyer since this will give you the best possible way to understand all of the different assets you own and how you can pass them on to loved ones effectively.


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