Spencer v. Spencer, Prenuptial Agreement

Spencer v. Spencer, ____ S.W.3d ____ (Ky. App. 2008), 2007-CA-000277-MR

Prior to the parties’ marriage, they executed an Antenuptial Agreement. During the marriage, Charles signed an authorization to transfer stocks, bonds, and money market funds held in his individual account to a new joint account at Edward Jones listing the owners as “Charles F. Spencer and L. Faye Spencer” with no mention of survivorship. After Charles died, his estate demanded that Faye release the assets in the account under the terms of the Antenuptial Agreement. The circuit court held, under KRS 391.315 and KRS 391.320, that Faye became the owner of the account on the date of Charles’ death.
The Court of Appeals reversed and remanded, holding that the Antenuptial Agreement did not preclude Charles from giving Faye an interest in the account, but that the use of the conjunctive “and” created a tenancy in common under Kentucky’s common law. Therefore, upon Charles’ death, Faye is entitled to half the account, and his estate is entitled to the other half. The brokerage account does not fall under the definition of “account” utilized in KRS 391.315 and KRS 391.320; therefore, the Court was bound by the common law articulated in Saylor v. Saylor, 389 S.W.2d 904 (Ky. 1965).
Digested by Sarah Jost Nielsen, Diana L. Skaggs + Associates