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The court found that the bank account contract or signature card authorizing one spouse to act did not negate the possibility that a TBE could exist in the account, citing F.S.
These questions, as rephrased to more closely reflect the court's analysis in the case were: First, in an action by the creditor of one spouse seeking to garnish a joint bank account titled in the names of both spouses, if the unities required to establish ownership as a TBE exist, should a presumption arise that shifts the burden to the creditor to prove that the subject account was not held as tenants by the entireties?
The court stated that while it understood the considerations which originally led to its decision not to adopt the presumption of a TBE in personal property similar to that in real property, it concluded that stronger policy considerations favored allowing the presumption in favor of a TBE when a married couple jointly owns personal property.
The Beal Bank court found that statements on the signature card that a bank account titled in the names of a husband and wife is held as joint tenants with right of survivorship do not alone constitute an express disclaimer that the account is not held as a TBE, because a TBE is essentially a joint tenancy modified by the common law doctrine that the husband and wife are one person.
If the signature card expressly states that the account is not held as a TBE and another form of legal ownership is expressly designated, no presumption arises.
Beal Bank is important for holding that if an account is held by both spouses and the unities exist, then a presumption arises that the account is held as tenants by the entireties and a creditor must prove that the account is not held as a TBE. However, Beal Bank leaves many questions unanswered because the questions certified to the court assumed that the unities existed.
5th DCA 1998), the court stated, "We agree that the Merrill Lynch account is subject to execution." Judge Cobb, concurring in part, dissenting in part, stated, "Almand testified that his wife's name was added later after he had opened the account, thereby negating one of the requisites for a TBE." (13) Judge Harris, concurring in part, dissenting in part, stated that the Merrill Lynch account "lacked the unities of time and title and thus is not held as a TBE." (14) Essentially, the Supreme Court affirmed that a TBE in a financial account could not be created by adding the spouse's name to an existing account.
2011), held that the relevant point in time for establishing the unities for TBE ownership is when an account is opened.
Although this statute applies to personalty, it does not address how a TBE in personal property may be created.
This legislative change creates a clear presumption as to bank accounts, but appears to foreclose the possibility of introducing extrinsic evidence to prove intent to create a TBE where the account agreement states "Jt Ten" or "joint tenants with right of survivorship," as was allowed in Beal Bank.
(17) Therefore, in order to title a vehicle or mobile home as a TBE, it is necessary to state the names of both spouses with the conjunctive "and."
Except in the context of bank accounts, there is no statutory authority in Florida as to how to create a TBE in personal property, and no statutory authority that a conveyance by one spouse to both spouses as TBE is sufficient to satisfy the requirements of the unities.
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