Your beneficiary designation form will be on file at the bank, so the bank will know that it has legal authority to hand over the funds. the wife, survived the husband. An estate planning document is silent on the issue of predeceased beneficiaries if no contingent beneficiaries are identified. However, my specific question is whether the original beneficiary(ies) of the now incapacitated ward's bank accounts, which have been and/or will be transferred to one main guardianship account at one particular bank revert back to those beneficiaries once a ward passes? The original account had a POD. Since fiduciary accounts cannot have a POD, and this one does, what will happen when the beneficiary dies? Custodians are required to close custodial accounts when the beneficiary reaches age 18 and to hand over the account's proceeds to the beneficiary. A legal guardian is a person to whom a court has legally given the responsibility of raising another person's child. A guardianship doesn't sever the legal relationship that exists between a child and his or her biological parents, however. 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. Before beginning the discussion, it is a good idea to define the terms. A guardian of the property is also discharged when the ward dies. Instead of opening a new Guardianship account, the original account that the now beneficiary had was maintenance into a guardianship account. However, the guardian must first file a final report, including an accounting, and petition for discharge for court approval before the discharge is granted. 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. 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. 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. The POD was not removed when the account was maintenance. You can spend your money, close your account or change beneficiaries. If your beneficiary dies before you, the account assets become part of your estate to be distributed under the terms of your will. What Happens to the Funds in a Special Needs Trust When the Beneficiary Dies? The guardian seeking discharge needs to know the requirements of filing the report and the petition. When a child is a trust beneficiary, the rights a legal guardian has depend on a few factors. I understand that a ward's assets become part of his/her estate after death. Thanks for your reply, Mr. Knowitall. 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 … 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. The same would be true of a joint bank account. Legal Guardians. While you’re alive, your accounts are your personal property. An example might be a wife who owns an IRA and names her husband as beneficiary. Jointly Owned Accounts. The Simultaneous Death Law also addresses a circumstance where a spouse owns an asset individually and both die together. 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. What happens to a bank account when someone dies without a will? 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