CEO 76-129 -- July 26, 1976
JOINTLY OWNED SAVINGS ACCOUNT
To: H. L. Chapman, Jr., Director, University of Florida Agricultural Research Center, Ona
Prepared by: Gene Rhodes
The Code of Ethics requires that all persons subject to the financial disclosure law disclose any intangible personal property, owned directly or indirectly, which is worth in excess of 10 percent of the reporting person's total assets. Fla. Stat. s. 112.3145(3)(c)(1975). A savings account which if owned jointly with one's spouse and which constitutes more than 10 percent of one's assets is required to be disclosed where the reporting person has control over the entire amount and enjoys the right of survivorship. CE Form 3, the Disclosure of Specified Business Interests, need not be filed where the information requested therein is not applicable to the reporting person.
1. Is a savings account owned jointly by me and my spouse to be reported in s. 2 of part F, relating to disclosure of intangible personal property, of the Statement of Financial Disclosure, CE Form 1?
2. Must CE Form 3, Disclosure of Specified Business Interests, be filed if I hold none of the interests required to be disclosed on that form?
Question 1 is answered in the affirmative.
Your letter of inquiry advises us that you and your spouse jointly own a savings account. You informed our staff over the telephone that both you and your wife each have control over the entire savings account in that either you or your wife may withdraw all or any portion of the account without the other's consent. Additionally, you each have the right to survivorship.
The Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees requires that you disclose intangible personal property owned directly or indirectly which is worth in excess of 10 percent of your total assets. Fla. Stat. s. 112.3145(3)(c)(1975). In our view, you own the entire savings account for purposes of the Code of Ethics when you own it jointly with your wife, have control over the entire amount, and have the right of survivorship.
Accordingly, you are required to use the full amount of the savings account in computing whether it exceeds 10 percent of your total assets.
Question 2 is answered in the negative.
Please find enclosed a copy of a previous opinion of this commission, CEO 74-2. The rationale in the response to question 2 of that opinion is equally applicable to your inquiry. Your question is answered accordingly in the negative.