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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Edward Punts and Hubert Wilson were longtime friends of J.W. Kelly. Both were written into Kelly’s will as beneficiaries of Kelly’s residual estate. Kelly also maintained two payable-on-death accounts. Wilson was named as the beneficiary on both. Upon Kelly’s death, Wilson was named the independent executor of Kelly’s estate. Wilson withdrew the money from the POD accounts � amounting to more than $572,000 � in checks payable to Wilson as the independent executor. Punts sued Wilson for breach of fiduciary duty, saying the funds belonged to the residual estate, but Wilson claimed the accounts were properly paid to him. The trial court granted Wilson’s motion for summary judgment, and Punts appeals. HOLDING:Affirmed. POD accounts are contemplated in Probate Code �439A(b). Upon the account owner’s death, the account passes to the POD beneficiaries. According to �439A(b), the account is not part of the decedent’s estate. The POD accounts in this case meet all the necessary criteria for establishing a valid account. The box for “single-party account . . . designation” is checked, and Wilson is listed as the beneficiary. As the beneficiary, any sums left in the account belonged to Wilson and were not part of Kelly’s estate. Wilson, therefore, did not owe a fiduciary duty to Punts with regard to the accounts. To meet his burden that the accounts were somehow part of the estate, Punts tries to argue that Kelly told him and Wilson that he wanted the accounts to pass to Punts under the residuary clause of his will (where Punts would thus get 50 percent). He also argues that since Wilson accepted payment in his capacity as the estate’s executor, he made a gift of the funds to the estate. First, extrinsic evidence of what Kelly may have said may not be considered where Kelly’s intent is clear and unambiguous under the basic terms of the POD account agreements. Second, an inter vivos gift (Wilson’s alleged gift of the accounts to the estate), must be backed by the donor’s intent to make such a gift, as well as by present delivery of the property so as to divest the original owner of any title, dominion or control. No such intent or delivery is present in Wilson’s acceptance of the account proceeds. OPINION:Donald R. Ross, J.; Morriss, C.J., Ross and Carter, JJ.

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