Robinson v. Delfino
Rhode Island Supreme Court
710 A.2d 154 (1998)
During her lifetime, Florence A. Izzi and her friend Donald C. Rich (defendant) maintained a joint safe-deposit box and owned several bank accounts as joint tenants with right of survivorship. Florence and her sister, Elisa Delfino (defendant) also jointly owned a number of bank accounts with right of survivorship and a safe-deposit box. Most of the accounts were funded with Florence’s money. After Florence’s death, both Rich and Elisa withdrew funds from the joint accounts. Elisa deposited the funds she had withdrawn into bank accounts she owned jointly with her husband, Paul Delfino (defendant). Florence’s estate (plaintiff) sued, claiming that Florence had intended for the funds to vest in the estate rather than in the surviving account holders at her death. The trial court found for the estate and ordered Rich, Elisa, and Paul to return any funds they had withdrawn from the joint accounts, along with interest, to the estate. Rich, Elisa, and Paul appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Bourcier, J.)
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