Surrogate Louis P. Gigliotti


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Petitioner, decedent’s brother, Jerry, commenced the instant proceeding seeking an order to compel executor Owens to deliver all funds withdrawn from Rome Federal Credit Union accounts—made payable to the estate—alleging as joint owner of the accounts with decedent, the funds became his upon decedent’s death by operation of law. Owens cross-moved for summary judgment declaring the Rome account was not a joint account with a right of survivorship under Banking Law §675. Jerry argued the subject accounts enjoyed the presumption under §675—if words of survivorship were used when a joint account was created, it was prima facie evidence title vested in the survivor. The court noted a failure to designate if the accounts were to be “with” or “without” rights of survivorship when the brothers signed the account change card, Jerry did not benefit from the presumption under §675. Thus, the court found insufficient proof to warrant a summary finding that the presumption under §675 applied to the Rome accounts denying Jerry’s motion, and granting Owens’ cross-motion to the extent it sought a summary declaration the accounts did not enjoy the presumption, in the absence of a question of fact if the presumption could apply.