payable-on-death designation

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A payable-on-death (POD) designation, according to Keul v. Hodges Blvd. Presbyterian Church, is a “will substitute” that does not transfer ownership of the property until the death of the designator. POD designations often appear during estate planning because they are easy to set up. 

POD designation allows the designee to receive the property upon the designator’s death, but the designee does not have equal access to the property during the designator’s life. For instance, the designee of a POD account, according to Fairfield Nat'l Bank v. Chansler, cannot withdraw any money before the designator’s death and has no legal redress to protect him or herself against wasteful uses of the fund by the designator. 

[Last updated in July of 2020 by the Wex Definitions Team]