Appointing a Beneficiary to Your Bank Account

July 27, 2018

You may not have considered adding a beneficiary to your bank account, but doing so can help you to protect the money in your account and ensure that it’s passed on to the appropriate person after your death.

Checking and savings accounts, as well as certificates of deposit (CDs), can have beneficiaries associated with them. Naming a beneficiary to your accounts clearly defines who gets the money once you are deceased. Without a named beneficiary, any bank accounts you have will have to go into probate court after your death, where the court will decide who your money should be transferred to. Probate can be a long, drawn-out process, and can also be expensive for your loved ones.

One way to avoid probate is for you to decide in advance who should receive the funds in your account after your death. This is referred to as naming a “payable-on-death”, or POD, beneficiary to your account.

Most financial institutions, including Bank5 Connect, will add a beneficiary to your account for free. Your Bank5 Connect account can only have one beneficiary listed, and that beneficiary must be a person, not an organization.

Most financial institutions allow you to change your named beneficiary as often as you like. Changing a beneficiary may be necessary if your beneficiary dies before you do. Or, you may want to make a change if you get a divorce and your ex-spouse is listed as your beneficiary. It’s generally a good idea to review who you have listed as your beneficiaries every few years, so you can make adjustments as necessary.

Naming a beneficiary to your bank account doesn’t require you to give up ownership or control of your funds. The beneficiary cannot withdraw funds from your account while you’re still alive, nor are they entitled to receive any financial statements or other correspondence regarding your account.

After your death, the funds in your account will be available to your beneficiary. They’ll just need to present photo identification and a death certificate before your financial institution will release the funds in your account to them.

To name a beneficiary to a Bank5 Connect account, you’ll need to obtain a form – either by email or regular mail – from the bank to fill out. The form then needs to be notarized, since it’s a legal document, and returned to Bank5 Connect.

For more information on naming a beneficiary to your Bank5 Connect account, or to obtain a form, fill out the contact form here.

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