I am the executor of my mothers will. All amounts in her bank CD's are to be evenly divided between myself and my two (2) brothers. She has me a the sole POD beneficiary on several of her CD's. If I claim the money and then redistribute it to my 2 brothers is it still considered an inheritance or more of a gift.
If considered a gift I assume it would become taxable as the amounts would greatly exceed the annual gift allowance per person.
These are not gifts from your mother as she is not deceased. If you are the sole beneficiary on your mother's CD and you decide to share the distribution from the CD's with your brothers, the gift is then from you. Talk to your CPA about the tax ramifications. Giving money to your brothers from the CD's is not an inheritance from your mother.
This is a classic situation in which someone without good advice does something to "simplify" the distribution of their estate and in the process creates some serious problems. Titling of assets trumps the will. The POD to you essentially makes you the sole heir on the POD accounts. If you claim them and then share the funds with your siblings, you would be making a gift to them. Unless the amount is in the millions, there would be no gift tax to pay, so long as you properly file a gift tax return. However, this will reduce the total amount of assets that you can give during your lifetime and upon your death. Depending on the size of your own estate and where you live, it is possible that your making these gifts to siblings will cause your own heirs to incur estate tax when you die.
If you intend to split the money with your siblings, it might be better to "disclaim" the accounts, or at least disclaim your siblings' share of the accounts. Disclaiming would result in the unclaimed funds passing according to your mother's will, but as though you are deceased. The problem with that, however, is that mom's will might cause part of the disclaimed funds to go to your descendants, instead of all going to your siblings as you intend.
POD is so easy to set up, and is touted as a way to "avoid probate" but there are worse things in life than probate. If a probate proceeding must be opened anyway, for some assets, it would be better for all assets to pass through probate. If your mother is living, and wants her family to avoid probate, then she might be better off to create a living trust, put all of her assets in that trust, and then all assets will be divided according to the terms of the trust and avoid probate, too.
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline