How to avoid probate on bank accounts
Attorney Tom Olsen: Chrissy, you know we are all about helping people avoid probate. We have workshops all over Central Florida, we had two in Lady Lake last week, we have them in our office. There are some very simple tools available for people to use to avoid probate. Not necessarily adding your kids or your grandkids names to the deed, that’s not what we’re recommending, but where you may have been going is that people-- if you have a checking, saving, CDs investment, non-IRA accounts, easy way to avoid probate on those. We are not talking about adding your children’s names to your accounts, we are talking about keeping the account in your name only, but making the account POD, Payable On Death, to your kids. All right, if you make the account POD for your kids and you pass away, the only thing your children will need to do is to show the bank your death certificate, and they will turn the money over to them, no probate required.
Chrissy: That’s right, absolutely.
Attorney Tom Olsen: Some banks use the term POD, Payable On Death, some use TOD, transfer-on-death. Credit Unions, when you open up an account at a Credit Union, they are very good about saying, “Do you want to make this account POD?” If you go to a traditional bank, they don’t ask you, “You want to make your account POD?” You’re going to have to ask them to do it. They’ll give you a form to fill out. To fill out that form, you’ll need your children’s names and their Social Security numbers.