Can A power of Attorney change bank account beneficiaries?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can A power of Attorney change bank account beneficiaries?

My greedy relative is my grandfathers POA and I’m worried she is going to remove me from being a beneficiary on bank accounts. Is that legal?

Asked on December 30, 2018 under Estate Planning, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it is legal: someone with a valid power of attorney from someone in their favor has the same power and authority over the person's accounts as the person him/herself doers. You grandfather could stop this person from doing so--e.g. take away the POA, or else change it so it does NOT extend to changing beneficiaries on bank accounts (POAs can be limited in any way the person granting it wants). And if it's done, your grandfather could change the designation of beneficiary back. But if your grandfather allows this to happen, it is legal.

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