Disputes Relating to Titling of Bank Accounts

The titling of “joint bank accounts” is a frequently litigated issue in the State of Florida. It is often disputed whether an individual was added to a bank account for “convenience” purposes (i.e. not because that individual was intended to have ownership rights to the account).

Under Fla. Stat. §655.79, unless expressly stated otherwise in contract, agreement or signature card executed in connection with the relevant account, any account that is titled in the names of two or more persons creates a presumption that all ownership rights in the account automatically pass to the surviving owner(s) upon the death of any owner. Titling Bank Account Disputes

In contrast, a “convenience account” is an account in the name of one individual (principal), in which one or more other individuals have been designated as agents with the right to make deposits to and to withdraw funds from or draw checks on such account. However, following the death of the principal account owner, those persons added to a “convenience” account have no ownership interest in the account. Fla. Stat. §655.80(1).

Daniel A. Seigel has substantial experience litigating disputes involving whether a bank account is deemed a “survivorship” or “convenience” account.

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