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In Re Estate of White

OPINION FILED JANUARY 23, 1974.

IN RE ESTATE OF THOMAS WHITE, DECEASED. — (PAUL EDWARD BISHOP, EXR., APPELLEE,

v.

HOWARD BISHOP, APPELLANT.)



Appeal from the Appellate Court for the Fifth District; heard in that court on appeal from the Circuit Court of Perry County; the Hon. Robert Bastien, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE DAVIS DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Paul Edward Bishop, executor of the last will and testament of Thomas White, deceased, filed a petition in the circuit court of Perry County to recover, as an asset of the estate, a certificate of deposit, or its proceeds, from Howard Bishop, respondent and nephew of the deceased.

The certificate of deposit in question was dated July 3, 1965, and on its face bore the legend "Thomas White or Howard Bishop, as joint tenants." It was in the sum of $7000 with interest at the rate of 4 per cent per annum.

An accompanying signature card purported to bear the signatures of Thomas White and Howard Bishop, but Bishop admitted that he had no knowledge of the $7000 until after his uncle's death, and that he did not sign the signature card nor did anyone sign for him. After White's death, respondent obtained possession of the certificate and the DuQuoin National Bank redeemed it by paying the proceeds thereof to Howard Bishop. Paul Edward Bishop, as executor, filed a petition to recover said funds. The circuit court entered judgment on January 27, 1970, in favor of the respondent, which found:

"1. That the Court has jurisdiction of the subject matter of this cause and the parties thereto.

2. That on July 3, 1965, a valid joint tenancy was created, evidenced by the written certificate of deposit bearing the names of Thomas White and Howard Bishop, joint tenants; and further finds that said certificate bore upon the face thereof the stamped impression of the following language, `as joint tenants with right of survivorship.'

3. That no other instrument in writing is necessary to create joint tenancy in this certificate of deposit. Said certificate being a sufficient writing in and of itself to meet the requirement of Sec. 2, Chap. 76 of Ill. Rev. Stats. as amended. And the Court further finds that said certificate is sufficient to create a prima facia presumption of donative intent on the part of said decedent.

4. That petitioner has failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence the lack of donative intent by the decedent Thomas White when the joint tenancy in this certificate of deposit was created on July 3, 1965.

It is therefore Ordered, Adjudged and Decreed:

A. That respondent, Howard Bishop, be and he is hereby declared the owner of the time certificate of deposit described herein and the proceeds thereof as surviving joint tenant therein.

B. That respondent be and he is hereby discharged from the citation in these proceedings.

C. There is no just reason to delay the enforcement of or appeal from this judgment."

The petitioner appealed from this order and the order of the trial court entered April 2, 1970, denying his motion for rehearing. The appellate court reversed (In re Estate of White, 4 Ill. App.3d 505) and held that a valid joint tenancy was not created and we granted leave to appeal.

The issue in this case is whether a valid joint tenancy can be created in this certificate of deposit by the designation thereon by the issuing bank that it is in joint tenancy, where there is no other ...


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