Pay On Death

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Pay On Death

I am my mother’s durable POA and will be handling her estate when she passes. At this time she is bedridden and cannot go the bank to sign the POD leaving the funds to me. Legally can I sign the POD when I am the POA.

Asked on July 5, 2018 under Estate Planning, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

A power of attorney should enable you to do this, so long as it is a broad-based one which lets you (among other things) handle her banking. If there are other heirs (e.g. other children of hers; or other people designated to receive money from her in a will) who stand to inherit, be aware that if you designate yourself the POD beneficiary, they could challenge that designation on the grounds that you engaged in "self-dealing": acting to benefit yourself at the expense of your mother's interests (such as that all her children inherit equally, or that other designated persons inherit). Fiduciaries (like people holding power & authority from a POA) cannot put themselves ahead of the interests of the person who gave them the POA. If you are the only heir (e.g. only child), however, this would not be an issue: there is no one else to complain or challenge the designation.


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