Texas Probate Code - Section 439. Right Of Survivorship
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§ 439. RIGHT OF SURVIVORSHIP. (a) Sums remaining on deposit at the death of a party to a joint account belong to the surviving party or parties against the estate of the decedent if, by a written agreement signed by the party who dies, the interest of such deceased party is made to survive to the surviving party or parties. Notwithstanding any other law, an agreement is sufficient to confer an absolute right of survivorship on parties to a joint account under this subsection if the agreement states in substantially the following form: "On the death of one party to a joint account, all sums in the account on the date of the death vest in and belong to the surviving party as his or her separate property and estate." A survivorship agreement will not be inferred from the mere fact that the account is a joint account. If there are two or more surviving parties, their respective ownerships during lifetime shall be in proportion to their previous ownership interests under Section 438 of this code augmented by an equal share for each survivor of any interest the decedent may have owned in the account immediately before his death, and the right of survivorship continues between the surviving parties if a written agreement signed by a party who dies so provides. (b) If the account is a P.O.D. account and there is a written agreement signed by the original payee or payees, on the death of the original payee or on the death of the survivor of two or more original payees, any sums remaining on deposit belong to the P.O.D. payee or payees if surviving, or to the survivor of them if one or more P.O.D. payees die before the original payee. If two or more P.O.D. payees survive, there is no right of survivorship in event of death of a P.O.D. payee thereafter unless the terms of the account or deposit agreement expressly provide for survivorship between them. (c) If the account is a trust account and there is a written agreement signed by the trustee or trustees, on death of the trustee or the survivor of two or more trustees, any sums remaining on deposit belong to the person or persons named as beneficiaries, if surviving, or to the survivor of them if one or more beneficiaries die before the trustee dies. If two or more beneficiaries survive, there is no right of survivorship in event of death of any beneficiary thereafter unless the terms of the account or deposit agreement expressly provide for survivorship between them. (d) In other cases, the death of any party to a multiple-party account has no effect on beneficial ownership of the account other than to transfer the rights of the decedent as part of his estate. Added by Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 1756, ch. 713, § 31, eff. Aug. 27, 1979. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 297, § 1, eff. Aug. 31, 1987; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 846, § 26, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.
Last modified: August 11, 2007