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And Now I Know -- Beneficiary On Bank Account

Marcelyn

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A friend and I were enjoying a before dinner conversation last week when she inquired about who was listed as beneficiary on our bank account. I answered with certain names of people. And she said “are you sure, really sure?” Then she told me a scary tale. (This is a smart, clear thinking woman.) Recently when this couple visited their local bank and inquired about who was listed as beneficiary on their account, they were told two names of people they didn’t even know!

So yesterday Bud and I went to our primary bank to check our account status. You guessed it. One listed beneficiary is deceased and another was someone that we don’t want near our financial matters. This bank charges $112 for a new beneficiary form but we agreed to pay — without a smile — because we wanted an immediate correction of this information. Decided not to delay this process while considering opening an account at a different bank. We also will be checking our secondary bank account in the next few days.

How does this happen where names of people you don’t even know appear as benefactors on your personal bank account?

Also learned that Bud is the “owner” of the account. Yes, I have check writing authority, but am not the owner, so settlement/change of ownership would eventually require probate thru Panamanian court system if there is no designated beneficiary.

Note: My action item is every month check the paperwork data at the bank.

Are you confident your bank account documentation is as you want it to be?



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Marcelyn, is your bank the same as your friend's bank? Or are we talking about two separate banks?

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My bank lost my beneficiary altogether. I found out about it only by accident. I completed a new form and gave a copy to my lawyer. 

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Yup. Bud and I are doing the same thing. Also distributing a copy to family “will holders”.

Suggest the bank manager’s signature and date is included on the beneficiary form.

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As a go-around could you not just withdrawal all your money in stages via the ATM and leave a small amount in and close it? We are not advocating not having a designated beneficiary form. It is necessary that it is correct.

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3 hours ago, TwoSailors said:

As a go-around could you not just withdrawal all your money in stages via the ATM and leave a small amount in and close it? We are not advocating not having a designated beneficiary form. It is necessary that it is correct.

It hasn't happened lately, but I can recall a time when ATMs sometimes were down for days. I therefore keep a Panamanian bank account, savings only, for emergencies. I don't keep a lot of money in it, and I don't have a checking account, because my experience with Panamanian banks has been almost uniformly bad.

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15 hours ago, Bonnie said:

It hasn't happened lately, but I can recall a time when ATMs sometimes were down for days. I therefore keep a Panamanian bank account, savings only, for emergencies. I don't keep a lot of money in it, and I don't have a checking account, because my experience with Panamanian banks has been almost uniformly bad.

We keep such a small amount in our Banco General account as well. Enough for a small emergency and to pay Cable Onda and Movil through the online bill pay.

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