G.R. No. L-47757, 7 April 1942, 73 Phil. 546


Ana Rivera was employed by Edgar Stephenson as housekeeper from the year 1920 until his death on June 8, 1939. On December 24, Stephenson opened an account in his name with the defendant Peoples Bank by depositing therein the sum of P1,000. On October 17, 1931, when there was a balance of P2,072 in said account, the survivorship agreement in question was executed and the said account was transferred to the name of “Edgar Stephenson and/or Ana Rivera.” At the time of Stephenson’s death Ana Rivera held the deposit book, and there was a balance in said account of P701.43, which Ana Rivera claimed but which the bank refused to pay to her upon advice of its attorneys who gave the opinion that the survivorship agreement was of doubtful validity. Thereupon Ana Rivera instituted the present action against the bank, and Minnie Stephenson, administratix of the estate of the deceased, intervened and claimed the amount for the estate, alleging that the money deposited in said account was and is the exclusive property of the deceased.


Is the survivorship agreement valid?


It is valid. It is an aleatory contract supported by a lawful consideration which is the mutual agreement of the joint depositors permitting either of them to withdraw the whole deposit during their lifetime, and transferring the balance to the survivor upon the death of one of them. It is well established that a bank account may be so created that two persons shall be joint owners during their mutual lives, and the survivor take the whole on the death of the other. The right to make such joint deposits has generally been held not to be done away with by statutes abolishing joint tenancy and survivorship generally as they existed at common law.

*Case digest by Johanes Ruedas, LLB-IV, Andres Bonifacio College Law School, SY 2018-2019