If we have a child named as a beneficiary of an account or POD (Pay On Death) and that child goes into bankruptcy, can our assets be taken away?

As long as the child is a mere beneficiary, or POD, he or she is not the owner of the account.  No lifetime benefit has been conveyed, and in the event the child is sued, or declares bankruptcy, your assets will not be implicated.  However, this raises to important issues.  First, confirm that your child is not a co owner of the accounts.  Secondly, consider putting these assets into a living trust or a trust at your death, so that your daughter doesn't end up losing them.

Finally, these assets will remain in your taxable estate for both federal estate tax purposes and for Pennsylvanina inheritance tax purposes.

David M. Frees III, Esquire
Call 610-933-8069  for a consultation on estate planning  or asset protection planning