Bankr. E.D.N.C.: In re Keel- Intention of Party is Irrelevant in Flawed Creation of Trust Account

Summary:

In 2007, the Female Debtor created two “payable on death” accounts on behalf of her children. In 2008, the Debtor opened two Certificates of Deposit, initially listing her husband as the beneficiary. In 2011, needing funds for home renovations, the Debtor contacted the bank and was advised to withdraw the funds from the 2007 “payable on death” trust accounts. After doing this, the Debtor then changed the beneficiaries of the Certificates of Deposit to be her children, but did not have those CDs converted into “payable on death” trust accounts. After filing bankruptcy, the Trustee sought turnover of those funds.

The bankruptcy court held that despite the Debtor’s intention to convert these into actual trust accounts, which would have excluded the CDs from her bankruptcy estate, the signature cards were unambiguously state that the CDs were “payable on death” accounts and fully within her control and therefore subject to turnover to the Trustee.

For a copy of the opinion, please see:

Keel- Intention of Party is Irrelevant in Flawed Creation of Trust Account.pdf

About

1. Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Washington University, 1993. 2. Juris Doctor degree from George Washington University, 1996. Admissions to Practice of Law: North Carolina Bar, 1996. Federal District Courts for the Eastern and Middle Districts of North Carolina. Specialty Certification: North Carolina State Bar: Certified as a Specialist in Consumer Bankruptcy. Areas of Practice: Practice limited to consumer and business debtor bankruptcy law, 1998 to present. Memberships: National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA). North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers (NCATL). North Carolina Bar Association, Bankruptcy Section. Lectures prepared and presented: North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers seminar on bankruptcy; Topic: Counseling the Consumer Debtor Prior to Court - C.Y.A. Forms to Help 'Gird They Loins'; 2001. Middle District Bankruptcy Seminar; Topic: Preparing Chapter 13 Plans; 2002. NACBA National Convention; Topic: Efficient Office Practices; 2003. NACBA National Convention; Topic: Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13 Debates; 2004. Middle District Bankruptcy Seminar; Topic: Chapter 7 & 13 Hot Issues; 2004. Positions held: NACBA National Convention; Convention Chair; 2008. NACBA National Convention; Panel Moderator: Topic: Basic Bankruptcy Issues; 2008. NACBA National Convention; Panel Moderator; Topic: Chapter 13-Disposable Income and Other Issues; 2007. NACBA National Convention; Panel Moderator; Topic: Representing Members of the Military and Their Families; 2007. NACBA, Member of National Board of Directors, 2006 to present. NCATL, Chair of the Bankruptcy Section, 2003 to 2007. NACBA, Chair of the North Carolina Section, 2003 to 2007. NC Bar Association, Bankruptcy Section, Bankruptcy Council Member, 2004 to present.

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