Washington Law Review


The recent passage in Washington of Initiative No. 208 providing for creation of joint tenancies in real and personal property provides the occasion for a reconsideration of the current status of the statutory and case law in Washington relating to the effect given to "joint tenancy" accounts with right of survivorship. Such an account typically takes the form of a deposit opened in the name of the depositor and another, payable to either or to the survivor. Does such an account, by virtue of present statutes, in fact create a joint tenancy with all its incidents as known to the common law? Or does it assume a modified form, with unique characteristics, distinguishable from common law concepts? If the latter is true, what impact, if any, may the new enactment have on expectable results under the present holdings? The prevalence of accounts of the type under discussion indicates that the answers to these questions, in terms of practical result, may be of importance to a substantial number of people.

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