A.G. Edwards & Sons v. Beyer

In A.G. Edwards & Sons v. Beyer, 235 S.W.3d 704 (Tex. 2007), a father and daughter sought to open a joint account with a right of survivorship and they signed and delivered documents to that effect, thus creating a contract between themselves and the financial institution. The financial institution lost the documents prior to actually opening the account. After her father died intestate and the money was distributed amongst herself and her five siblings rather than being paid directly to her, the daughter sued the financial institution for breach of contract. Id. at 707. A jury returned a verdict in her favor and the Texas Supreme Court affirmed the award, noting that the suit did not implicate the Texas Probate Code's protections against liability for payment on joint accounts because "A.G. Edwards' failure to take sufficient steps to create the JTWROS account necessary to establish Alicia's right of survivorship is a breach of a separate duty owed to Alicia." Id. at 708. The context of the language in the opinion makes it clear that the Court was referring to the duties arising out of the contract signed by Alicia and her father--"The evidence showed that Alicia and her father performed the steps necessary to set up an account, but A.G. Edwards did not perform as agreed." Id.