Non Probate Assets
Financial accounts like checking accounts, savings accounts, C.D.’s and retirement accounts are non probate assets. That means that a person’s will does not control who gets the funds. The beneficiary designation on those accounts determine who gets the funds. They do not pass through probate. The same is true of joint accounts with right of survivorship.
Pay On Death Beneficiary Designation
Owners of the financial accounts sign a Pay On Death Beneficiary Designation form POD. The person designated as the pay on death beneficiary of those accounts is paid the funds on the death of the owner of the accounts. Since these accounts are paid directly from the financial institution to the beneficiary, they do not go through probate.
Incompetency To Make Beneficiary Designation
A person can take advantage of the owner of the financial accounts because they are mentally incompetent or are under the undue influence of the person. This is especially prevalent when the owner is elderly. When the owner dies, if nothing is done, the bad person keeps all the money in the accounts because he has tricked or coerced the owner to change the beneficiary designation. This is not an uncommon event. When this happens, the heirs of the decedent need to file the appropriate papers in the probate court even though the assets are non probate assets. The probate court can set aside the pay on death beneficiary designation if the facts warrant. 13-12-00026-CV.
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By Robert Ray a Board Certified attorney. The foregoing information is general in nature and does not apply to every fact situation. We handle litigation involving inheritance disputes. We don’t prepare wills. We don’t file wills for probate or distribute estates except when we are contesting a will or protecting a will from a contest. We handle a select few cases on contingency. Don’t use a comment to ask a personal question about an inheritance issue because your name and comment will be public. To ask a litigation question and to protect your privacy, click the red button to the right.