Your Next of KIN Will Not Have Access to the Money in Your Bank Account: Reasons - Microblog

Your Next of KIN Will Not Have Access to the Money in Your Bank Account: Reasons

Many Nigerians assume that naming their next of kin automatically grants access to their bank accounts their death. However, this is not entirely true. Without proper measures in place, your next of kin may encounter significant hurdles in accessing your funds after your demise.

The Reality of Next of Kin Designation

If your next of kin isn’t a signatory on your bank account and lacks a written will establishing their legitimacy, they won’t have automatic access to your money. Instead, the bank will initiate a legal process known as PROBATE to determine the rightful recipient of your funds.

What is Legal Probate?

The probate period is a time-consuming and expensive process. Even after completion, your family may have to allocate a substantial amount of the funds for legal proceedings. This can be both financially draining and emotionally taxing.

A Simple Solution With POD

To narrow the process and avoid the complexities of probate, consider obtaining a “POD” form from your bank. POD, which stands for PAYABLE ON DEATH, allows you to designate a specific individual who will have immediate access to your funds after your passing.

How Does the POD Form Work?

The POD form requires you to specify the person you want to designate as your next of kin. Once completed, this individual gains full access to your bank account upon presenting the death certificate. The reasons for this process is to ensure that your loved ones can swiftly claim the funds without enduring a lengthy and stressful legal procedure.

Benefits of the POD Form

  • Avoiding Lengthy Legal Processes: The POD form speeds the transfer of funds, preventing your family from the protracted legal proceedings associated with probate.
  • Preserving Financial Resources: By sidestepping probate, your family retains more of the funds, as they won’t need to allocate a significant portion to cover legal expenses.

The Reasons Why You Should Use the POD

Many bank account holders, especially those with savings and fixed deposit accounts, choose to name payable-on-death (POD) beneficiaries for their accounts. This decision helps to secure a smoother transfer of funds after the account owner’s demise.

Exclusion from Probate and Will Impact

When an account owner with a POD beneficiary designation passes away, the POD beneficiary can directly claim the funds from the bank. The deceased person’s will doesn’t play a role in this process, and probate court involvement is unnecessary, as said by Allaw.

The Executor’s Limited Role

Funds left to a POD beneficiary don’t fall under the terms of the deceased person’s will. Consequently, the money is not part of the probate estate, and an executor doesn’t control it. While it’s not the executor’s primary duty to facilitate the transfer to the POD beneficiary, they might be approached for assistance.

Executor’s Potential Involvement

Despite the executor’s limited role, they might assist if the POD beneficiary seeks guidance. If there are other accounts at the same bank, the executor could leverage existing relationships to provide helpful advice. Also, the executor might be the one to inform POD beneficiaries about their entitlement to funds, especially if the deceased person didn’t explicitly communicate this.

Identifying POD Designation

Examining the deceased person’s bank statements reveals the presence of a POD beneficiary. Look for the term “POD” in the account name, such as “Usman Bayode Emeka, POD Account.” To find out the beneficiary’s name, the executor can contact the bank in their capacity as the personal representative of the estate.

Claiming Funds

To access funds in a POD bank account, the beneficiary needs to visit the bank with proper identification and a certified copy of the death certificate. The bank possesses paperwork, signed by the deceased owner, authorizing the beneficiary to inherit the funds. The beneficiary can then choose to withdraw the money or open a new account.

Options for Fixed Deposits

For beneficiaries inheriting a time deposit like a fixed deposit, they have several options:

  • Leave the Funds Until Maturity: If not needing immediate funds and the interest rate is favorable, waiting until the maturation date is a sensible choice.
  • Withdraw the Funds: Although there may be a penalty for early withdrawal, inherited CDs often exempt the new owner from such fees.
  • Re-title the Fixed Deposit: Transferring funds into the beneficiary’s name may involve rewriting the fixed deposit at the current interest rate, offering flexibility if rates have increased since the original purchase.


In safeguarding your loved ones’ financial future, a POD form proves to be a simple yet powerful tool. By taking this step, you can ensure that your chosen next of kin faces minimal obstacles in accessing your money, sparing them unnecessary stress and financial burden during an already challenging time.

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