California law regarding pay on death accounts

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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California law regarding pay on death accounts

I have a POD bank account with two tax-exempt charities as beneficiaries.

Upon my death, what happens to the funds in the event one of the beneficiaries fails to collect its share of the money?

How long will the bank hold the uncollected funds?

After my death, does my estate executor have the legal right to, as per my express wishes, select another tax exempt beneficiary should one or both of the beneficiaries designed in the original POD no longer be tax-exempt?

Asked on February 8, 2018 under Estate Planning, California


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Does your bank allow for alternate payees as designated beneficiaires?  If so, then you can name an alternate should the first charity not be in existence when you pass, becuase so long as they exist, it is theirs.  The bank will hold the account as long as the law in the state allows and then if it is dormant it could be considered an uncollected fund under the state law.  If you want the Executor to control the pay out of the funds then the Estate would be the beneficiary but then you have tax implications. I would suggest sitting down with an estate planner for this.  Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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