The Florida Supreme Court says that all joint bank accounts owned by a husband and wife are presumed to be exempt tenants by entireties accounts unless the spouses have disclaimed entireties ownership. What does “disclaiming entireties ownership” really mean?
A recent Florida appellate court addressed this issue. A couple opened a new bank account and told the bank employee they wanted a joint account without specifying “tenants by entireties.” The bank employee filled out the paperwork and checked the box next for a joint account with rights of survivorship. There was another option on the bank’s form for “Mulitple-Party Account-Tenancy by the Entireties.” The bank employee was unfamiliar with tenancy by entireties and never discussed the option with the couple. The same couple did not discuss with the bank employee their intent to have an entireties account.