Tenancy by the Entireties Bank Account

My last post was on the general topic of tenancy by the entireties protection.  There are lots of cases in Florida addressing the issue of whether particular property is exempt.  A recent case is useful to analyze whether a particular bank account is exempt as tenancy by the entireties. In re Stephenson, 2012 Bankr Lexis 4849 (M.D. Fl Oct, 4, 2012). Fort Lauderdale bankruptcy attorneys should pay attention to this case as to how to analyze signature cards.

The court recognized that a rebuttable presumption of tenancy by the entireties exists in a bank account based on a joint signature card absent an express disclaimer on the card of the tenancy by entireties election. If the debtors had this option on the card and picked a different option, then the presumption would be be rebutted.

Also, attorneys are familiar with the 6 unities of title.  In this case, the account was opened prior to marriage, and after marriage the signature card was changed to create a tenancy by the entireties.  This change violated the test of unity of title (property was not acquired as tenancy by the entireties.)

 



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