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Digest of the Week | Money in a Joint Account

Digest of the Week | Money in a Joint Account

Money in a Joint Account

Kyle Estate v. Kyle | 2017 BCCA 329 | British Columbia Court of Appeal

Estates and trusts --- Trusts — Resulting trust — Rebuttal of presumption of resulting trust — Miscellaneous

Deceased father and mother sold house and divided proceeds of sale equally, and they each provided four sons with equal amounts of money from proceeds of sale — Son C set new account at credit union, which later became joint account with father — Father had $400,000 deposited into joint account — After father died, C transferred $372,637.21 that was remaining in joint account into his own personal account and used money to retire commercial mortgage loan — Other sons discovered that approximately $400,000 from sale of father's home could not be located among his assets, but C did not disclose joint account — Father's estate's action to recover money held in joint account was allowed — Trial judge found when $400,000 was deposited into joint account, father did not intend to gift C funds immediately or to gift C amount remaining in joint account after he died — Trial judge found there was no evidence that father preferred C — Trial judge found giving equal amount to each son from proceeds of sale of house demonstrated that father was not excluding oldest son from distribution as result of earlier failed investment — Trial judge found there was no history of father supporting C financially on ongoing basis such that joint account would be logical way to accomplish continuing support — Trial judge found agreement related to opening of joint account established right of survivorship but it did not contain any express reference to any beneficial entitlement to money in account — Trial judge found father opened joint account to set aside funds he wanted to give sons and high interest rate provided income to him until he died so his personal expenses could be covered — Trial judge found there was consistent intention in father's will for proceeds from sale of house to be divided equally among sons, and establishing joint account where C could distribute remaining proceeds when father died fulfilled that intention — Trial judge found that if C understood that money in joint account was gifted to him on father's death then there was no good reason why he would not have said so, instead of denying knowledge of $400,000 — Trial judge found C had not proven, on balance of probabilities, that father intended outright and immediate gift of money in joint account or outright gift upon his death, and presumption of resulting trust prevailed — Executrix appealed — Appeal allowed in part — There was no intention to make gift of money — Trial judge erred in finding resulting trust — Resulting trust is for benefit of donor and could not be ordered in circumstances of case at bar — Order made that funds be disgorged to estate.
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