A Payable-on-Death (POD) account, also known as a Totten Trust, provides your beneficiary quick and easy access to your account in the event of your death. A designated beneficiary won’t need to wait for the will to pass through Probate Court, ensuring access to funds that may be needed for immediate expenses.
To open a POD account, simply complete an “Application for Membership Payable-On-Death (POD) Account” form and present it with the required documentation. You can change your designated beneficiary at any time, simply by completing a new form. New accounts can be opened in person or by mail. All proper documentation must accompany the application and the information must pass all required Federal verifications. Upon your death, your beneficiary will need to provide ActorsFCU with a certified Death Certificate to access the account.
Important Information about ActorsFCU POD Accounts
- Spousal Rights – Many states have elective share laws that protect the rights of surviving spouses to receive a portion of the estate regardless of the beneficiary named. This means a spouse cannot be disinherited even if another beneficiary has been named on a POD account. If you have questions about this or other laws specific to your state, please consult an attorney.
- POD Account vs. Co-Owner Account – You may have considered naming a co-owner of your ActorsFCU account to avoid probate laws. Be sure to take into account that a co-owner may withdraw funds from a joint account at any time; their creditors will have access as well. If you do not wish others to have access to your funds until your death, a POD account might be a better choice for you.
- Restrictions on Beneficiaries – POD accounts allow for one beneficiary per POD account, and do not allow alternate or contingent beneficiaries. In order to have multiple beneficiaries, you must open a POD account for each beneficiary. If you require a more complex beneficiary arrangement, you may wish to choose a different estate-planning instrument. Our in-house financial advisor is available to help you find the best choice to meet your needs.
- Naming Children as Beneficiaries – It is generally not recommended to name a minor as a beneficiary on a POD account. If you die before the minor reaches adulthood, the funds will be held in trust until the child reaches legal age. If the funds are needed for the minor’s ongoing care and support, another choice may serve you and the child better. Our in-house financial advisor is available to help you find the best choice to meet your needs.