Transfer/Payable on Death Designations
Transfer/Payable on Death Designations in St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Tampa, Sarasota and surrounding West Florida areas.
Florida allows bank accounts to be designated as payable-on-death, or a “POD” designation. This allows a beneficiary to automatically take ownership of the account upon presenting proof of the account holder’s death without going through probate court proceedings. A POD designation can be used for any deposit account, including checking accounts, savings accounts, or certificates of deposit. A designated beneficiary will have no rights in the account until the event of the account holder’s death, which is different from owing an account as joint tenants, as a joint tenant of an account can use and control such account during the life of the other account holder. If a particular account is owned jointly and has a POD designation, upon the death of one of the joint account holders, Florida law allows the account to pass to the surviving account holder, and not to the beneficiary. In other words, any POD designation does not take effect unless all account owners have passed away. In the event there is more than one beneficiary, the beneficiaries hold equal shares of the account.
A transfer-on-death designation, or a “TOD” designation, is very similar to a POD designation, except it is used for securities, such as individual stocks and bonds, mutual funds, and brokerage or trading accounts. Like a POD designation, securities can be registered so that a beneficiary is designated to take ownership upon the death of the owner without going through probate.
If you need assistance or have concerns with transfer-on-death or payable-on-death accounts, please contact our office, as our attorneys routinely deal with these types of accounts when administering an estate in St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Tampa, Sarasota and the surrounding West Florida areas.