There are literally thousands of joint savings and checking accounts throughout Virginia in which the bank signature card provides that either party during their joint lives or the survivor may withdraw funds without limit from the account. The Virginia Supreme Court forthrightly recognized the problems of such accounts in the landmark case of King v. Merryman, stating, "For more than half a century, the courts of this country have struggled to discover whether a joing deposit bank account with an extended right of survivorship ...is a gift, a trust, a contract, or joint tenancy, or a testamentary disposition." In an attempt to bring order to this area confused by judicial decisions, public misconceptions and a muddle of statutory provisions, the 1979 Virginia General Assembly enacted the Multiple Party Accounts Act which became effective on July 1, 1980.
Barbara M. Rose,
Multiple-Party Accounts: Does Virginia's New Law Correspond with the Expectations of the Average Depositor?,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
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