What is the effect of POD’s as trust beneficiaries?

UPDATED: Jan 19, 2011

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What is the effect of POD’s as trust beneficiaries?

Certain family members are listed on POD’s. One family member was not. This was suggested by an attorney to avoid changing a trust. The trust has all family members listed as beneficaries. Would there be any potential legal or otherwise problems with this?

Asked on January 19, 2011 under Estate Planning, Oregon


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

No unless the other family member was not named for a specific reason and could cause problems if he or she decides to file suit or file for a ruling on any provision of the trust if the paid on death provision negatively impacts her or wastes the trust assets.  So the best thing to do is figure out if the reason this person was not named was because there simply isn't an asset he or she is supposed to get that has a beneficiary designation capability.  What you can do is have the trustee speak with another estate planning attorney to get a second opinion and see if this is the best approach.  Paid on death designations fall outside of a trust or will usually so the trust wouldn't have to be changed for these designations. 

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