What are Totten Trusts, PODs, and TODs? And How Can I Use Them in My Estate Planning?

Totten trusts, Payable on Death (“POD”) accounts, and Transferrable On Death (“TOD”) accounts all provide for the automatic transfer of types of property at death to a named beneficiary – without having to go through probate. These accounts are available in most states.

With a totten trust, you can deposit money into a bank account in your own name as trustee for another person. Generally, you can revoke such a trust at any time prior to your death. Assuming you do not revoke your totten trust, upon your death the person you named – the donee – receives the bank account.

A POD account is very similar to a totten trust. You deposit money into a bank account in your own name, but you designate that the account is payable upon your death to a named person. Again, this transfer is generally revocable up until your death. Upon the same, your donee receives the account.

Finally, a TOD account is like a POD, only they are used to transfer stocks, mutual funds, and other accounts holding securities.

Again, all of these accounts are generally revocable and allow you to automatically transfer property at your death to whoever you want – all while avoiding the hassle of probate.

If you have questions about any of these accounts, or other estate planning options, please feel free to contact one of our Los Angeles Estate planning attorneys – we are here to help. You can reach us at (310) 954-1877,, or you can also send us a message by using our Contact Form.