A caller asked about whether a bank account owned by married Florida residents is exempt as tenants by entireties property if the account is in a foreign bank with no United States offices or branches
It may seem that bank accounts located outside the U.S. would not be subject to our exemption laws. However, the general rule is that exemptions of personal property, including financial accounts, is based on the law of the debtor’s residence. Certainly, a Florida husband and wife could maintain a protected tenants by entireties account at a New York financial institution. I do not know of any case that distinguishes foreign situs of financial accounts. Today, financial transactions are often international and Americans more frequently invest in foreign companies and bank instruments. I suspect that Florida courts would uphold the tenancy by entireties status of almost any bank account wherever located, although I am not aware of any case where the issue was addressed.