Capitol Sav. Bank, FSB v. Snelson, No. WD

CourtCourt of Appeal of Missouri (US)
Writing for the CourtALBERT A. RIEDERER
Citation998 S.W.2d 862
PartiesCAPITOL SAVINGS BANK, FSB, Respondent, Mercantile Bank of Central Missouri, Respondent, v. Dorothy SNELSON, the duly appointed personal representative of Vacil Allen, Deceased, Appellant, Kenneth W. Allen and Carleen S. Wood, the duly appointed personal representatives of Vacil Allen, Deceased, Respondent. 55606.
Decision Date24 August 1999
Docket NumberNo. WD

Page 862

998 S.W.2d 862
CAPITOL SAVINGS BANK, FSB, Respondent,
Mercantile Bank of Central Missouri, Respondent,
v.
Dorothy SNELSON, the duly appointed personal representative
of Vacil Allen, Deceased, Appellant,
Kenneth W. Allen and Carleen S. Wood, the duly appointed
personal representatives of Vacil Allen, Deceased,
Respondent.
No. WD 55606.
Missouri Court of Appeals,
Western District.
Aug. 24, 1999.

Page 863

Dennis J.C. Owens, Kansas City, for Appellant.

P. Pierre Dominique, Jefferson City, for Respondent Capital Savings Bank.

McDorman, Versailles, for Respondent Mercantile Bank of Central Missouri.

Ronald K. Carpenter, Camdenton, for Respondent Kenneth W. Allen.

Before LAURA DENVIR STITH, P.J., LOWENSTEIN and RIEDERER, JJ.

ALBERT A. RIEDERER, Judge.

Dorothy Snelson appeals from the trial court's judgment granting her a one-half interest and her niece and nephew, Carleen Wood and Kenneth Allen, a one-half interest in each of two certificates of deposit. Finding that Snelson owned both certificates of deposit in joint tenancy with right of survivorship with her late brother at the time of his death, we hold that Snelson is the owner of the full amount of the proceeds of both certificates of deposit.

Factual Background

Logan and Maude Allen were the parents of Dorothy Avonelle Snelson and Vacil Allen. On March 28, 1991, Mercantile Bank of Central Missouri issued certificate of deposit ("CD") number 40980 in the amount of $31,000.00. On its face, the CD listed as "DEPOSITOR(S)" the following persons: "Logan Allen or Maude Allen as Co-Trustees for: Vacil Allen and Dorothy Snelson...." Also printed below the "DEPOSITOR(S)" section was this statement: "if more than one of you are named above, you will own this certificate as joint tenants with right of survivorship (and not as tenants in common). (You may change this ownership by written instructions)." On August 5, 1994, another CD, number 61336, was issued by Mercantile in the amount of $41,000.00. The face of CD # 61336 were the words, "THIS CERTIFICATE EVIDENCES A DEPOSIT IN THE NAME(S) OF: Logan Allen or Vacil Allen and Avonelle Snelson...." A box was checked on CD # 61336 signifying it as a "Joint Account - With Right of Survivorship," and another box denoting "Non-Spousal" was checked as well.

By September 5, 1995, Maude Allen had died. On that date, Mercantile Bank, at the written direction of Logan Allen, removed Logan Allen's name from both CD's. On CD # 40980, the bank drew a line through the words "Logan Allen or Maude Allen as Co-Trustees for: Vacil Allen and Dorothy Snelson," and it typed in the words "Dorothy Avonelle Snelson or Vacil L. Allen." CD # 40980, as altered, still contained the provision: "if more than one of you are named above, you will own this certificate as joint tenants with right of survivorship (and not as tenants in common). (You may change this ownership by written instructions)." On CD # 61336, the bank drew a line through the words "Logan Allen or" and replaced the "and" with "or" so that the certificate thereafter

Page 864

read, "Vacil Allen or Avonelle Snelson." Also added to both certificates were the words "TWO SIGNATURES REQUIRED FOR WITHDRAWAL." The re-titling occurred in the presence of both Dorothy Snelson and Vacil Allen.

One year later, on September 5, 1996, Vacil Allen, while hospitalized, executed a durable power of attorney designating his son and daughter, Kenneth Allen and Carleen Wood, respectively, as his attorneys-in-fact. That same day, Wood, with both CD's in her possession, went to Mercantile Bank "on her father's behalf" to request that ownership of the CD's be changed from joint tenancy to tenancy in common. Wood spoke to Larry Laduke, a senior vice president of the bank, but Laduke would not make the change because he could not contact the bank's attorney. Vacil Allen died the following day. No change was made to either CD before his death.

On November 12, 1996, the Circuit Court of Miller County, Probate Division appointed Kenneth Allen and Carleen Wood personal representatives of the Vacil Allen estate. A dispute between the personal representatives and Dorothy Snelson arose concerning ownership of the two CD's. Uncertain as to the ownership, on December 5, 1996, Mercantile Bank filed a petition for interpleader in the Circuit Court of Miller County. The petition requested that the circuit court award the sum of the proceeds of the CD's ($72,000.00) as it saw fit.

On December 24, 1996, defendants Kenneth Allen and Carleen Wood ("Respondents") filed their answer to Mercantile's petition for interpleader. Therein, they:

den[ied] that Logan Allen directed [the CD's] to be retitled in the names of Vacil Allen and Dororthy Snelson as joint tenants with right of survivorship as said written directive makes no mention as to the form of ownership desired and, therefore, the form of ownership should have been tenancy in common and not joint tenancy with right of survivorship....

They also answered that Carleen Wood "had the lawful authority to change the form of ownership of the certificate of deposit in question and to change that ownership from joint tenancy to tenancy in common and that [Mercantile] should have allowed this change of ownership at the request of the co-owner, Vacil Allen." Thus, they claimed that one-half of the proceeds of the two CD's should be paid to Vacil Allen's estate.

On January 10, 1997, defendant Dorothy Snelson ("Appellant") filed her answer. Therein, she claimed the entire amount of the proceeds should be paid to her as a surviving joint tenant. Following a trial, on February 6, 1998, the circuit court entered a judgment declaring Dorothy Snelson as owner of one-half of the...

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1 practice notes
  • Scott v. Union Planters Bank, N.A., No. 27154.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • May 15, 2006
    ...at 337. "A CD is a contract . . . generally created and terminated according to the terms of the CD." Capitol Sav. Bank, FSB v. Snelson, 998 S.W.2d 862, 866 In his first point on appeal, Husband asserts the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Bank was in error. Specifically,......
1 cases
  • Scott v. Union Planters Bank, N.A., No. 27154.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • May 15, 2006
    ...at 337. "A CD is a contract . . . generally created and terminated according to the terms of the CD." Capitol Sav. Bank, FSB v. Snelson, 998 S.W.2d 862, 866 In his first point on appeal, Husband asserts the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Bank was in error. Specifically,......

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