Are there any laws that disallow a person to be their mother’s POA and beneficiary?

UPDATED: Nov 27, 2013

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Are there any laws that disallow a person to be their mother’s POA and beneficiary?

My mother recently passed. She had an IRA that I helped her transfer from another bank. The IRA was a payable on death beneficiary account. The new bank required that I use their POA forms to make the transfer. Now that my mother is dead, it has refused to distribute the funds, claiming that since I am one of the beneficiaries, and also power of attorney, that we must probate the account. Are they not in breech of contract?

Asked on November 27, 2013 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania


Anne Brady / Law Office of Anne Brady

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The bank is wrong.  The whole point of a pay-on-death account is avoiding probate.  A POA is only valid when the person is still alive.  If the bank had a problem with someone who had POA also being the beneficiary of the Pay on Death account, the bank should have spoken up when the transfer was made, not after your mother was dead.  If the bank will not release the funds, hire and attorney and take the bank to court.

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