Legal Question in Banking Law in Indiana

Joint savings account with son

My husband opened a savings account with his name being primary, sons name secondary for the purpose of helping him go to college. This was opened over 10 years ago and my husband has money directly deposited from his pay check to this account. His son has always been told it was for college or if no college a down payment on a house. This 19 year old son has recently moved out of our home, and now says that this money is his to do what he wants to with it. And wants to take us to court over the $1500 that's in the account. My husband decided yesterday to pull the money out of the account and store it safely until his son either returns to college or straightens up and gets a job and this will help pay for a down payment. Since this money is in both names did my husband have legal authorization to take the money out? My step-son says no and his mother is threatening to sue us over $1500.00 because it should be her sons.. Even though the money that has been deposited into this account came out of my husband's pay check. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Asked on 6/19/07, 7:00 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

C. David DuMond Law Offices of David DuMond

Re: Joint savings account with son

This is still your husband's money, so he was fully justified to take it out of the account. To have qualified as an outright gift, as his son desires, then your husband would not have retained any control over the title, possession or use of funds. The boy, and his mother, should be reminded that your husband's patronage is his patronage, now and forever, that the boy's current behavior will be remembered for a long time, and if he wants to enjoy his father's generosity, then he should behave with modesty and appreciation. If they do take you to court, then be sure to explain to the judge what I stated above: the money was your husbands, he put it into an account with his name on it so he could control the money and its use. Good luck.

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Answered on 6/19/07, 10:53 am

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