If you own an account jointly with someone else, then after one of you dies, in most cases the surviving co-owner will automatically become the account’s sole owner. When a child is a trust beneficiary, the rights a legal guardian has depend on a few factors. The Simultaneous Death Law also addresses a circumstance where a spouse owns an asset individually and both die together. A contingent beneficiary is a backup, secondary beneficiary who receives an account or piece of property if the first beneficiary, known as the primary beneficiary, dies … However, banks do not keep track of the ages of account holders and banks are under no legal obligation to close a custodial account purely on the basis that the beneficiary has reached legal adulthood. Each spouse is usually named as the beneficiary of the other’s retirement accounts, individual retirement account, and life insurance policies, so these will bypass probate. Since fiduciary accounts cannot have a POD, and this one does, what will happen when the beneficiary dies? However, the joint tenancy approach fails to work well if a couple dies simultaneously, or under circumstances where it can’t be determined who died first. Custodians are required to close custodial accounts when the beneficiary reaches age 18 and to hand over the account's proceeds to the beneficiary. While you’re alive, your accounts are your personal property. Jointly Owned Accounts. Thanks for your reply, Mr. Knowitall. the wife, survived the husband. The original account had a POD. A legal guardian is a person to whom a court has legally given the responsibility of raising another person's child. An example might be a wife who owns an IRA and names her husband as beneficiary. The same would be true of a joint bank account. A guardianship doesn't sever the legal relationship that exists between a child and his or her biological parents, however. What Rights Does an Account Beneficiary Have? What Happens to the Funds in a Special Needs Trust When the Beneficiary Dies? Before beginning the discussion, it is a good idea to define the terms. A Special Needs Trust is a specialized legal tool that allows a beneficiary with disabilities to utilize property or money held in the trust for his or her benefit, without jeopardizing the ability to access essential needs-based public benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid. If someone dies without a will, the money in his or her bank account will still pass to the named beneficiary or POD for the account. If your beneficiary dies before you, the account assets become part of your estate to be distributed under the terms of your will. However, the guardian must first file a final report, including an accounting, and petition for discharge for court approval before the discharge is granted. Instead of opening a new Guardianship account, the original account that the now beneficiary had was maintenance into a guardianship account. I understand that a ward's assets become part of his/her estate after death. The guardian seeking discharge needs to know the requirements of filing the report and the petition. The POD was not removed when the account was maintenance. If both die together, the statute provides that the owner, i.e. An estate planning document is silent on the issue of predeceased beneficiaries if no contingent beneficiaries are identified. Instead, it co-exists with that legal relationship. Guardianship of minors pertains to a legal relationship between a minor child and a guardian that gives the guardian certain rights and obligations regarding the child. You can spend your money, close your account or change beneficiaries. A guardian of the property is also discharged when the ward dies. 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