Opening a P.O.D, payment on death, bank account and designating a beneficiary is a simple way to transfer assets upon death without probate. You keep control over the funds and can change beneficiaries anytime. But, switching the beneficiary requires a trip to the bank. One account owner tried a shortcut, writing a note to his friend, making him the new beneficiary of his U.S. Bank P.O.D account. The Wisconsin Court of Appeals said no: the written instructions on file with the bank control the account. Read more.