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I am not a lawyer but to me this sounds suspect.
If this is happening and it is a family member you might want to consult a lawyer. I would also want to review any and all paperwork this POA has been involved with.
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Beneficiary of what?

Generally the answer is no. Any beneficiary designations have to be made by the elder prior to the POA being enacted. Here in Canada a POA cannot change beneficiary designations on bank or investment accounts, or will Wills.
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I am POA and I did it in one specific instance. My brother made me executor in his will and most of his estate went to my adult children, except he passed so quickly, he did not realize that he left a life insurance to my mom at age 96 and who had plenty of assets. I asked him to bypass me in his will as beneficiery which he did as best he could. He listed most of his stocks and funds under my children but he did not have to change my name on a couple of joint tenency accounts. This went through probate and I was compensated for a couple of small accounts. I am next in line to my mother's will followed by my children if I should pass before she does.
Getting back to the life insurance payment. My mom has a financial advisor who helped me set up a new account with the funds and as fiduciery for my mom, I could set it up as a transfer on death account to the beneficies that he should have intended it to in the first place. The financial advisor also has copies of all of mom's legal papers to see the line of distribution of her will. I sought legal help through the process.
As for my mom's other assets, the beneficieries are in place and I am not able to change them.

One way a POA can get changes, though not legal, is if the affected person is physically brought to a financial institution and signs a form. My mom at 97 is still able to hold a conversation and would be gullible enough to do it, all while not appearing impaired.. If you suspect this may have happened then do contact a lawyer.
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I was able to open accounts for my brother while he was completely competent, in his name, with his ex partner as POD beneficiary. I was able to renew and roll over accounts in CD with myself as already being POD beneficiary and remaining so upon rollover; I was able to put money into his Trust (I was at that time both beneficiary of the Trust and Trustee of the Trust.) I would not have tried to put myself on an account were he not competent to dictate I do so, as a POA is a Fiduciary, and that person is sworn under law to act on for a person or in that person's best interest. I would have placed them in his name only. As I was his only living relative, only heir, Trustee of his Trust, beneficiary of his Trust, and etc. I would have inherited in any case.
I feel you should not put yourself on any accounts other than as POA without this person dictating you do so and being present when account is opened at his or her bank. You could be liable under the law.
See an Elder Law Attorney or the person who wrote the POA for the elder you are serving with this question. The Elder's estate will pay for this consult as you are acting for the elder, to find out how you must best proceed in his or her interest.
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The POA cannot act in a self-serving manner, they cannot act in their own self-interest. So the answer here is probably NO. NO the POA cannot make themselves a beneficiary. That needs to be done by the principle, without any influence from the POA, if they are still competent.
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