Stock accounts as JTWROS

We have a joint stock account as JTWROS. Is the account considered as a ‘gift’ if it was owned by one spouse and then the other spouse was added to it?

Otherwise, how are the assets in the account considered for distribution purposes?
Thank you.

A stock account is not considered a gift if it was owned individually by one spouse and the other spouse was subsequently added.

The account will be distributed depending on whether it is a separate property account or a marital property account.

The account is separate property of the original owning spouse if the original owning spouse had the account prior to the date of marriage and no marital funds (funds earned during the marriage) were deposited into the account. Title for non-real property assets does not matter.

The account is marital property if the original owning spouse acquired the account during the marriage and it was not an inheritance.


Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

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