How exactly do you know who is named as a beneficiary of a bank account?

UPDATED: Aug 22, 2011

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How exactly do you know who is named as a beneficiary of a bank account?

There was no Will that we know of, so my aunt petitioned the court and was named executor. She is telling us that my Dad was not named as a beneficiary of my uncle’s accounts. But is there a way for us to make sure she is telling the truth? Would it be possible for her to lie and somehow take the money for herself? We don’t know anything about this type of stuff.

Asked on August 22, 2011 Pennsylvania


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  When a person dies without a Will it is known as intestate.  The intestacy laws in the state then govern how the assets are distributed.  As for beneficiaries on accounts, I do not believe that PA allows for POD - payable on death - accounts only ITF - In Trust For - accounts.  If the money was held in trust for your Dad then he would have to be notified by your Aunt.  But you know that you can check up on her by going down to the probate court and viewing the petition that has been filed which will list all the assets including the bank account and the number and how it was held.  Once you review it you may want to hire an attorney to consult with.  Good luck.

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