Naming a Beneficiary to Your Bank Account is a Wise Move

It’s not something you usually think about, but it’s probably a good idea to look into – having one or more beneficiaries added to your bank accounts.AdobeStock_49224633

Beneficiaries are usually associated with wills, but they can also be added to your checking account, savings account, or a certificate of deposit (also known as a CD). By taking this step, you can keep your accounts out of probate court, which is the process by which a will is proved valid or invalid. Naming beneficiaries to your accounts takes the guesswork out of who gets the money you have in the bank after your death.

Basically, appointing a beneficiary ensures that the money in your bank account goes to who you would like to receive it, rather than leaving that decision up to the court.

Most financial institutions, including BankFive, will add a beneficiary to your account free of charge. And usually you can change the beneficiary as often as you like. This is something you’ll likely want to do if you get a divorce and your former spouse was listed as the beneficiary on your account. You’ll also want to make a change if your named beneficiary dies before you do. It’s a good idea to review your beneficiaries every few years and make changes as necessary.

After your death, your beneficiary will need to present photo identification and a death certificate before your financial institution will release the funds in your account.

It’s important to note that naming a beneficiary doesn’t grant them access to the account while you’re still alive. In other words, they can’t withdraw money from the account. And, the beneficiary is not entitled to receive any correspondence regarding your account, such as financial statements. After your death, your beneficiary will have to present photo identification and a death certificate in order to access the funds in your account.

Naming a beneficiary to a BankFive account is a relatively straightforward process. You’ll need to visit one of our branches and fill out a form. You’ll also need to come prepared with some information about your beneficiary, including their birth date and social security number. Your beneficiary does not need to be present.

For more information about naming a beneficiary to your BankFive account, contact us at


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