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Marital Property

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CaseIn re Estate of Calvert Hugh Fletcher

Issue:  Do funds invested from marital property by one spouse remain marital property?

Facts:  Decedent owned a certificate of deposit before dying. Wife alleged that the funds were derived from a joint marital account, they should have been impressed as entireties property. The trial court disagreed and held that the CD was property of the estate.

Appellate Decision:  The intermediate court reversed, holding that the funds in the CD passed to the Wife upon Decedent’s death. The court recognized that a 1992 decision held that the withdrawal of funds from a joint account eliminated the entireties nature of the money withdrawn. Mays v. Brighton Bank, 832 S.W.2d 347 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1992). This decision itself recognized a split of authority on the issue. The court in the instant case noted that Mays had been cast into doubt on two occasions but not expressly overruled.

Review Granted:  September 23, 2016.

Prediction:  Ben predicts the supreme court will affirm the intermediate court’s ruling and clarify the conflicting case law.