Credit Union Joint Account Cases Messier Yet

In Podolak v Podolak (click on name to read case) two brothers fight over funds in a credit union account that was joint between Dad and just one of them when Dad died. After a lengthy recitation of facts, the Court gets to the legal analysis and the part of the case I want to talk about, which is how joint ownership rules apply to credit union accounts.

The COA notes that MCL 490.56 and 490.58 (click on cites to read statutes), taken together, provide that any account at a credit union that is titled in more than one name is presumptively a survivorship account regardless of whether the account was set up in a manner that expressly provided for survivorship rights; AND the standard of proofs necessary to upset that presumption is clear and convincing evidence (higher than the “reasonably clear and persuasive proof” standard that applies to statutory survivorship bank accounts).

With more and more people banking primarily at their credit unions, these are good rules to have a handle on.

This is a second foray into joint accounts issues by the COA in the last six months. In September, I blogged about the Morris case (click here to read that post).  Together these two cases provide a nice summary of joint account rules, which it appears, are much more complicated and convoluted than many of us had assumed.

The Podolak case is unpublished.