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Franklin v. Anna National Bank of Anna

Illinois Court of Appeals
488 N.E.2d 1117 (1986)


The decedent, Frank Whitehead, and his caretaker and sister-in-law Cora Goddard, signed a card at Anna National Bank (“the bank”) that permitted either of them to withdraw funds from Whitehead’s savings account. The back of the card stated that funds in the account were owned by Whitehead and Goddard as joint tenants with right of survivorship. Goddard never withdrew funds from or deposited funds into the account. According to Goddard, Whitehead told her that he wanted Goddard to have the funds in the account if she survived him. Later, Whitehead wrote letters to the bank asking that the name on his account be changed to Whitehead’s new caretaker, Enola Franklin, in case his bills needed to be paid or he was sick. Whitehead died, and Franklin (plaintiff), as executor of Whitehead’s estate, brought suit against the bank, which in turn interplead Goddard (defendants). Franklin argued that the funds in Whitehead’s account belonged in Whitehead’s estate. Goddard claimed she was entitled to the money as the surviving joint owner. The trial court held that Goddard owned the funds in the savings account by right of survivorship, and Franklin appealed.

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