(a) Any two or more individuals may establish a joint deposit account by written contract. The deposit account shall be held for them as joint tenants. The account also may be held pursuant to G.S. 41-2.1 of the General Statutes and have the incidents set forth in that section. If the account is held pursuant to G.S. 41-2.1, the contract shall set forth that fact.
(b) Unless the individuals establishing a joint account have agreed with the bank that withdrawals require more than one signature, payment by the bank to, or at the direction of, any joint tenant designated in the contract authorized by this section shall be a total discharge of the bank's obligation as to the amount so paid.
(c) Funds in a joint account established with right of survivorship shall belong to the surviving joint tenant or tenants upon the death of a joint tenant, and the funds shall be subject only to the personal representative's right of collection as set forth in G.S. 28A-15-10(a)(3), or as provided in G.S. 41-2.1 if the account is established pursuant to the provisions of that section. Payment by the bank of funds in the joint account to a surviving joint tenant or tenants shall terminate the personal representative's authority under G.S. 28A-15-10(a)(3) to collect against the bank for the funds so paid, but the personal representative's authority to collect such funds from the surviving joint tenant or tenants is not terminated.
(d) A pledge of a joint account by any one or more of the joint tenants, unless otherwise specifically agreed between the bank and all joint tenants in writing, shall be a valid pledge and transfer of the account or of the amount so pledged, shall be binding upon all joint tenants, shall not operate to sever or terminate the joint ownership of all or any part of the account, and shall survive the death of any joint tenant.
(e) A bank is not liable to joint tenants for complying in good faith with a writ of execution, garnishment, attachment, levy, or other legal process that appears to have been issued by a court or other authority of competent jurisdiction and seeks funds held in the name of any one or more of the joint tenants.
(f) Persons establishing a joint account with right of survivorship under this section shall sign a statement showing their election of the right of survivorship in the account and containing language set forth in a conspicuous manner and substantially similar to the following:
"BANK (or name of institution)
JOINT ACCOUNT WITH RIGHT OF SURVIVORSHIP
We understand that by establishing a joint account under the provisions of North Carolina General Statute 53C-6-6 that:
(1) The bank (or name of institution) may pay the money in the account to, or on the order of, any person named as a joint holder of the account unless we have agreed with the bank that withdrawals require more than one signature; and
(2) Upon the death of one joint owner, the money remaining in the account will belong to the surviving joint owners and will not pass by inheritance to the heirs of the deceased joint owner or be controlled by the deceased joint owner's will.
(g) This section does not repeal or modify any provision of law relating to estate taxes.
(h) Any joint tenant may terminate a joint account.
(i) Where a joint account is held by two or more individuals and a joint tenant does not wish for the account to be terminated but requests to be removed from the account, the bank shall remove the joint tenant from the account. The joint account shall continue in the names of the remaining tenant or tenants. Any joint tenant who requested to be removed from an account remains liable for any debts incurred in connection with the joint account during the period in which the individual was a named joint tenant.
(j) Any joint account created under the provisions of G.S. 53-146.1 as it existed prior to October 1, 2012, shall for all purposes be governed by the provisions of this section on and after October 1, 2012, and any reference to G.S. 53-146.1 in any document concerning the account shall be deemed a reference to this section.
(k) This section shall not be deemed exclusive. Deposit accounts not conforming to this section shall be governed by other applicable provisions of the General Statutes or the common law, as appropriate. (2012-56, s. 4; 2013-29, s. 11.)
Last modified: March 23, 2014