Using your credit union to protect your financial wishes with a Payable On Death (POD)

No one enjoys talking about death. It may be a difficult subject to think about, but it is the natural conclusion to all things. Coming to grips with this inevitability, will allow us to do one thing well…


Let me ask you something…

Will your wishes and aspirations for the future continue beyond you?

First Choice FCU is here to help you to understand your options. And, we’d like to help you in your wishes of providing assets to the next generation as you choose.

Everything about the POD – a short Q & A

One vehicle that financial institutions can assist you with is a Payable on Death (POD) designation to your account. Some States refer to this as an In Trust for Account (ITF). Other states and regions refer to it as a Payable to Beneficiary Account (PTB).

The State of Pennsylvania typically refers to this as a POD. No matter the name, the function is the same.

How does a POD work?

A First Choice FCU POD account can be set up on checking or savings accounts, certificate of deposit and money market accounts. Basically, on any financial account that you have access, you can usually setup a POD.

This account allows for the money remaining in your account to pass directly to the beneficiaries named by you upon your death.

Can a POD be accessed by the named parties prior to death?

A POD does not have access to the account prior to the account holder passing away. Designating a POD does not change the ownership or control of an account.

The credit union account will pass to the POD beneficiaries even if the account owner had a last will and testament or revocable living trust. This is also true regardless of what the will or trust says.

How do the PODs get the money after the owner passes away?

Upon the death of the account holder, the POD(s) must present a death certificate. This must be accompanied by the POD(s) proof of ID for the actual transfer to occur.

The credit union is then able to disperse the money to the beneficiaries named by the account owner.

Who has access to a POD Account?

Only the account holder of the POD account.

While they are alive, the beneficiaries named by the owner to receive the monies left in the account after the owner dies will not have access to nor control over the POD account. They cannot make deductions, additions nor even receive account status in any form.

Also, the POD account owner can change the beneficiaries at any time.

Who can be a POD? Who can hold a POD account?

Any natural person can be a POD. A business entity, trust or organization is not permitted to be a POD on an account.

Can I have more than one POD on an account?

Yes, you can. The owner of the account has the right to name as many PODs on the account as their financial institution will allow. When the last owner of the account passes away, the money remaining in the POD account will be paid to the beneficiaries listed.

Does a POD account have to be paid equally to the beneficiaries?


The POD account owner does not have to leave the account equally if more than one beneficiary is named. Instead, if more than one beneficiary is named by the POD account owner to receive the assets remaining in the account after the owner dies, then the beneficiaries will receive the balance of the account in the proportions specified by the owner in the beneficiary designation form.

What happens if a named beneficiary predeceases the POD account owner?

If a beneficiary named by the POD account owner predeceases the owner, then the money remaining in the account will be paid equally to the surviving beneficiaries, if named.

Can I set up contingent PODs?

Unfortunately, at this time, the credit union does not have the ability to name contingent POD(s) for any account.

Can I set up a POD on any account that I have?

A POD is designed for demand deposit accounts that include checking, savings, and money market accounts. Additionally, you may add a POD to a Certificate of Deposit.

However, accounts like an IRA or 401(k) have their own separate beneficiary rules that permit a beneficiary, but not a POD.

Can my POD and my beneficiary for my IRA be the same person?


The account owner has the right to select whichever person they so choose. However, having one (POD) does not mean that you automatically have the other (IRA Beneficiary). The same thing is true for insurance policies and announced beneficiaries in a will or living trust

What must I have in order to assign a POD to my account?

You will need the person’s name, social security number and some form of contact information for the POD. After notification of the passing of the account holder, we would attempt to contact the PODs listed on the account.

Does the POD I assign have to sign my signature card or be present if I name them?


There are no signature requirements of the POD, just the account owner. In fact, the POD need not know that they have been assigned an account. There will be no correspondence to the POD from the credit union until notification of the account owner’s death.

Who can assign a POD?

Any account holder has the right to assign a POD as long as it is not one of the owners of the account. A joint owner or Power of Attorney do not have the right to name themselves POD.

What if one owner adds a POD and another owner adds another?

Whenever a POD is added to an account, this change requires the resigning of signature cards. All owners of the account will need to resign.

If a POD exists on an account and another is added, unless otherwise directed, the new POD will be entitled to their equal portion of the proceeds of the account after the owner has passed away. The newer assigned POD will be added to the account, not replaced or replacing a previous person.

Are there any other benefits to naming a POD?

The addition of PODs can extend NCUA insurance coverage on an account beyond the $250,000 per account limit.

Determining the coverage of an account at one financial institution can be very challenging. We would ask that you consult the NCUA website, consult and attorney, or discuss this matter with one of our staff for more details.

Is a Payable On Death account from First Choice FCU right for you?

No one likes to talk about their death. But planning for the inevitable is a necessity. Not only will this allow you to live a happier life without the added burden, but it will allow you to leave exactly what you choose, as you choose, after you die.

A POD (payable on death) account will allow you to do just that.

there are many benefits to using a POD account. These include increasing the insurance for the account by the hundred of thousands of dollars. As well, using a First Choice POD account allows you to avoid probate for your estate.

In the end, using a POD account is parallel to the need of having a last will and testament, and a living trust.

For more information, contact First Choice Federal Credit Union today. We can talk you through your option and help you make the best decision for you.

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