Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Franklin v. Anna National Bank of Anna case brief

Franklin v. Anna National Bank of Anna case brief
140 Ill. App. 3d 533, 94 Ill. Dec. 870, 488 N.E.2d 1117 (App. Ct. 1986)

CASE SYNOPSIS: Plaintiff executrix sought review of a judgment from the Circuit Court of Union County (Illinois), which was in favor of defendant individual, a co-signer to the decedent's bank accounts, in an action seeking a declaration that funds in a joint savings account were the property of the decedent's estate.

FACTS: The trial judge had found that the individual was the sole owner of the funds in the savings account by right of survivorship as a surviving joint tenant, and that no part of the funds became part of the decedent's estate. On appeal, the executrix argued that the decedent had not intended to make a gift of the savings account to the individual. The court noted that just nine months after the individual's name was added to the account, the decedent had attempted to remove her name and substitute that of the executrix. The facts of the case demonstrated that the decedent had made the individual, and later the executrix, a signatory for his own convenience, in case the decedent could not get his money, and not with the intent to effect a present gift. The court further noted that it did not appear that the individual ever exercised any authority or control over the joint account. The court accordingly reversed, concluding that while the decedent's statement that he wanted the individual to have the money in the account if she outlived him suggested donative intent, taken literally the decedent's statement was inconsistent with intent to donate any interest during his lifetime.

CONCLUSION: The court reversed the judgment in favor of the individual, and remanded the case for entry of judgment for the executrix.

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1 comment:

  1. Analysis: The decedent didn't intent to make a gift through the joint account.

    In order to make a gift, there must be clear and convincing evidence that a gift was intended based upon the events relating back to the time of the creation of the joint tenancy and events occurring after the creation of the joint tenancy.

    Here, the deceased intended to keep the account as his own because he made repeated attempts to change the name on the account and put Goddard’s name and later Franklin’s name on the account in the event that he could not get his money. He was afraid of losing his eyesight.

    Lastly, Goddard never exercised any control over the account after the account was established.

    In this case there was evidence in the form of written letters that the decedent believed he may go blind soon and consequently appointed others to help him with his financial affairs.

    The decedent was not making a gift here, but was rather in such a condition that it behooved him to put another person’s name on his account to carry out his affairs.