What to do if my father has a POD account and is terminally ill but the account beneficiary has no intentions of using the money to bury my father as he intended?

My father is in a coma and most likely will not come out; he has severe brain damage. The beneficiary of the POD account has no intentions of using the money to bury him as he intended. Since my dad is still alive, can a judge take control of the account and have the money paid to the funeral home before the death? Otherwise there will be no money for a funeral. I don’t know what will happen to his body. Also, the beneficiary is cashing in the life insurance policy and keeping that too.

Asked on March 16, 2014 under Estate Planning, New Jersey


Anne Brady / Law Office of Anne Brady

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You would have to have some sort of proof that your father intended for the beneficiary to use the money in the POD account to pay for his funeral.  Also, you would need to prove that the beneficiary understood this and agreed to use the money for this purpose and is now reneging.  The question becomes: Who is this beneficiary, that your father picked him/her to get his life insurance money and to bury him, rather than his immediate family? If it is his wife, she may be on the hook to pay regardless of what you believe she intends.

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