Joint Accounts: When a Sibling is the Surviving Account Holder

July 17, 2008 Hull & Hull LLP Joint Accounts Tags: , , , , , 0 Comments

In a recent Ontario decision, Tiedemann v Tiedemann, the court considered whether the deceased had intended to gift to his sister the balance of funds in a joint account held by the both of them.

The sister argued that her brother intended to gift to her the balance of the funds as he did not have a good relationship with his son. The son of the deceased, the sole beneficiary of his estate, contented the funds belonged to the deceased’s estate on the basis of a resulting trust. The court found as the deceased was the only contributor to the account, the sister had to rebut the presumption of a resulting trust and as she was neither his spouse nor his child, she derived no benefit from the presumption of advancement.

Referencing the Supreme Court of Canada decisions of Pecore v. Pecore and Madsen Estate v. Saylor, the court looked at the evidence to determine the deceased’s actual intention. The court found the testimony by the deceased’s lawyer and a bank employee indicated that the deceased was interested in providing his sister with the authority to manage his finances and had not intended to gift her funds.

Weighing the evidence, the court found on a balance of probabilities that the resulting trust had not been rebutted and the intention of the deceased was to have his sister assist with bill payments if he became incapable.

To learn more about joint accounts, listen to Episode HOESP #60  where Ian Hull and Suzana Popovic-Montag discuss Percore v Pecore or read the transcribed version.

Thanks for reading,

Diane Vieira

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