November 1, 2016
from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia
(ADM-1834-99) (Hon. Cheryl M. Long, Trial Judge) (Hon. Rhonda
Reid Winston, Trial Judge) (Hon. John M. Campbell, Trial
Haley for appellant.
J. Gagliardo for appellee.
Easterly and McLeese, Associate Judges, and Ruiz, Senior
McLEESE, Associate Judge
the estate of Frances Walker, challenges the trial
court's ruling that appellee Stanley Stefan was entitled
to funds from a bank account opened by Ms. Walker and Mr.
Stefan. We affirm.
following facts appear to be undisputed. Ms. Walker and Mr.
Stefan, who were long-time friends, jointly opened a savings
account in July 1998. The account contained approximately
$183, 000 at the time of Ms. Walker's death in September
1999. Only Ms. Walker contributed funds to the account. Mr.
Stefan did not withdraw any funds from the account during Ms.
Walker's lifetime, but he did withdraw funds from the
account to pay for Ms. Walker's funeral expenses.
November 1999, the estate's personal representative --
Ms. Walker's great-nephew, Eulse Cee Young, Jr. --
transferred the funds from the savings account to the
estate's separate account. Mr. Stefan sued the estate,
claiming among other things that Ms. Walker intended for him
to have the funds in the account upon her death. The trial
court granted summary judgment to the estate. In In re
Estate of Walker, 890 A.2d 216, 224-25 (D.C. 2006), this
court concluded that summary judgment was not warranted,
because there were genuine issues of material fact regarding
Ms. Walker's intent in establishing the account. We
therefore remanded for further proceedings. Id. at
226. We specifically directed the trial court to consider on
remand whether the Nonprobate Transfers on Death Act, D.C.
Code § 19-601.01 et seq., which went into effect in
2001, had any impact on the case. Id. at 221 n.5.
remand, the parties agreed that the Act applied, but they
disagreed as to the proper disposition of the funds at issue.
The trial court interpreted the Act to create a presumption
of a right of survivorship in multiple-party accounts. The
trial court further concluded that the presumption had not
been rebutted, because there was no express disclaimer of a
right of survivorship in the account documents. Thus, the
trial court concluded that the funds passed to Mr. Stefan as
the surviving party.
estate appealed, and we once again remanded, directing the
trial court to make factual findings as to the parties'
intent in establishing and maintaining the account. In re
Estate of Walker, No. 08-PR-1638, Order (D.C. Jul. 30,
2010) (per curiam). We also noted that the trial court had
not addressed whether Ms. Walker had given Mr. Stefan an
interest in the account during her lifetime ("inter
second remand, the parties agreed that no additional facts
needed to be found and that the trial court should decide the
case on the existing record. The trial court concluded that
the clear weight of the evidence indicated that Ms. Walker
intended for the funds in the account to pass to Mr. Stefan
upon her death. The ...