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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Thomas J. Holmes Sr. and Kathryn V. Holmes were married in 1972. Kathryn died on July 22, 1999. Douglas G. Beatty, Kathryn’s son from a previous marriage, was appointed independent executor of her estate. Thomas Sr. died on May 4, 2000, about nine months after Kathryn’s death. Thomas J. Holmes Jr., Thomas Sr.’s son from a previous marriage, was appointed independent executor of his estate. During the marriage, Kathryn and Thomas Sr. placed a significant amount of their community property into brokerage accounts. When Kathryn died, some brokerage accounts were in existence and held securities. Kathryn and Thomas Sr. also held some securities in certificate form that had been issued out of brokerage accounts. The property that is the subject of these appeals has a multimillion dollar value. Beatty sued Thomas Jr., seeking a declaratory judgment that certain accounts and securities in certificate form were not owned by Kathryn and Thomas Sr. with a right of survivorship and thus did not pass to Thomas Jr. upon Kathryn’s death. Instead, Beatty claimed that Kathryn’s one-half interest in this community property became an asset of her estate upon her death. Thomas Jr. filed a counterclaim, alleging the property was owned by Kathryn and Thomas Sr. with a right of survivorship. Therefore, Thomas Jr. sought an adjudication that the accounts and securities became the sole property of Thomas Sr. upon Kathryn’s death and subsequently became assets of Thomas Sr.’s estate upon his death. Beatty filed an Amended Motion for Partial Summary Judgment. Holmes filed a Motion for Partial Summary Judgment followed by a Supplemental Motion for Partial Summary Judgment. On March 18, 2005, the trial court signed an Amended Order on (Beatty’s) Amended Motion for Partial Summary Judgment and (Holmes’ Motion for Partial Summary Judgment and Supplemental Motion for Partial Summary Judgment. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Beatty and denied summary judgment in favor of Thomas Jr. as to certain property. The trial court ruled that the following property did not pass to Thomas by right of survivorship at Kathryn’s death: 1. a First Southwest Co. brokerage account; 2. a Raymond James & Associates Inc. brokerage account; and 3. nine securities held in certificate form by Kathryn and Thomas Sr. that had been issued out of a Dain Rauscher Securities account, a Kemper Securities Inc. account and a First Southwest account. Further, the trial court stated that the order did not dispose of claims pertaining to the separate or community character of the property or any other allegations concerning the assets. Thus, the trial court ruled only on the dispute regarding whether the assets were held with a right of survivorship, leaving all other issues for later resolution. The trial court rendered its order final and appealable by severing it from the remainder of the case. Holmes appealed. HOLDING:Affirmed in part, reversed and rendered in part. Texas Probate Code ��436 -462, or Chapter XI of the code, governs nontestamentary transfers of property, the court stated. An agreement between spouses creating a right of survivorship in community property must be in writing and signed by both spouses. Under �452, an agreement, the court stated, is sufficient to create a right of survivorship in the community property described in the agreement if it includes one of several phrases, such as” with right of survivorship.” An agreement that otherwise meets the requirements of part three of Chapter XI is effective without including any of the phrases. Kathryn and Thomas were required to comply with �452 to create a right of survivorship in the community property at issue, the court stated. The court concluded that the acronym “JT TEN” as used in the First Southwest account agreement was insufficient, without more, to create a right of survivorship; and that Thomas Jr.’s proffered extrinsic evidence regarding the meaning purportedly assigned to “JT TEN” in the securities industry and by First Southwest could not be used to prove the account agreement created a right of survivorship. Thus, the court found that Kathryn and Thomas failed to create a right of survivorship in the First Southwest account under �452. Accordingly, the court held that the trial court did not err by granting Beatty’s motion for summary judgment and denying Thomas Jr.’s motion for summary judgment with respect to the First Southwest account and ruling the account did not pass by right of survivorship to Thomas Sr. upon Kathryn’s death. Moving on to the Raymond James Account, the court concluded that the agreement sufficiently conveyed the spouses’ intent to create a right of survivorship in the account pursuant to �452. In particular, Kathryn and Thomas Sr. affirmatively selected an” Account Classification.” They were presented with fourteen options for the account classification and selected “Joint (WROS).” Thus, the Raymond James account became the sole property of Thomas upon Kathryn’s death by right of survivorship. Accordingly, the court held that the trial court erred by granting Beatty’s motion for summary judgment and denying Holmes’ motion for summary judgment relative to the Raymond James account. Next, the court held that any survivorship agreements governing the Dain Rauscher and Kemper accounts did not apply to the securities after they were issued out of the accounts in certificate form. Therefore, the securities did not pass to Thomas by right of survivorship upon Kathryn’s death. Accordingly, the trial court properly granted Beatty’s motion for summary judgment and denied Holmes’ motion for summary judgment with respect to the securities in certificate form. OPINION:Seymore, J.; Hudson, Fowler and Seymore, JJ.

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