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Recovery of Assets for an Estate

Court rejects church's attempt to recover assets for an estate.

• An Ohio appeals court rejected a church's attempt to recover assets for an estate of which it was a beneficiary. An individual (the "testator") executed a will on February 7, 1990, leaving all his bank accounts to a church. On March 5, 1990, the testator and a friend went to the testator's bank and, while there, the testator had all of his accounts and certificates of deposit placed in the joint names of himself and the friend as joint tenants with right of survivorship. The friend had not contributed to any of these funds and did not thereafter contribute anything to them. The testator died on August 29, 1990. On several occasions prior to the testator's death, the friend withdrew varying sums of money from the joint and survivorship funds totalling approximately $118,000. Within hours after the testator's death, the friend closed the last survivorship account by withdrawing the ...

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Richard R. Hammar is an attorney, CPA and author specializing in legal and tax issues for churches and clergy.

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Posted:
  • July 1, 1992

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