Articles Tagged with Joint Tenancy

12.6.19There are different types of property. What we informally call real estate, is known in the law as “real property.” That includes any property that is made of land and any structure that sits on it. That also can include assets that appear on that piece of land, like crops, water, livestock or other natural resources.

The ownership of real estate takes several different forms, and each has different requirements for transferring ownership, obtaining financing, paying taxes and collateralization. How the property is owned is based on its title, which is used to convey ownership.

Investopedia’s recent article, “5 Common Methods of Holding Real Property Title,” explains that each title method has its pros and cons, depending on a person's specific situation and how they want ownership to pass after death, divorce, or sale. The most common of these methods of title holding are joint tenancy, tenancy in common, tenants by entirety, sole ownership and community property.

11.20.19Many instances of estate planning disasters start when well-meaning people try to use a simple solution for what is ultimately a complicated problem. It’s better for all concerned to meet with an estate planning attorney who can present strategies that will achieve goals, rather than attempt a do-it-yourself plan that creates more problems than it solves.

In one example of a do-it-yourself estate plan, a husband decides to use his inheritance to purchase the family home. His wife signs a quitclaim deed to him that puts the property into his living trust, on the condition that if he dies before she does, she is allowed to live in the home until death.

However, the living trust was never signed. So, what would happen to the property if the husband were to die before the wife?

6.7.19Asset titling is the sticking point, where many estate plans fail. The best plan can be undone, if assets are not retitled or accounts are not funded.

Retitling assets means just that—changing the name of the asset, whether it’s a deed to a home or a name of an insurance policy. If assets are not retitled to conform to the estate plan, they won’t be protected or won’t be distributed as you and your estate attorney had planned.

Forbes’ recent article, “For Estate Plan To Work As Intended, Assets Must Be Properly Titled” notes that with the exception of the choice of potential guardians for children, the most important function of a will is to make certain that the transfer of assets to beneficiaries is the way you intended.

5.15.19How home ownership is titled, or how it is described on the title to the house, can have far reaching implications that may not come into play for decades.

Deciding how the owners of a home will hold title to it, is a much bigger decision than most people think, says The Washington Post in a recent article, “What you need to know about holding title to a home with a loved one.” Before you sit down at the closing table to finalize the purchase of a home, or if the house is being re-titled to align with an estate plan, it’s important to understand the different ways that a home can be owned with another person.

There are three primary ways to title property between spouses. Joint tenancy is the least common and typically must include the language “with right of survivorship and not as tenants in common.” Spouses typically acquire title as “tenants by the entireties,” which only applies to spouses in a limited number of states.

12.20.18Remember that estate planning is not just for the wealthy, and now that the federal exemption is so high, not just for the billionaires either. Estate planning is also much more than a will.

Your estate plan has a lot of work to do for you, both while you are alive and for your family when you have passed. A good article that explains it all comes from Investopedia, “How to Get Your Estate Plan on Track.” There are three key objectives that your estate plan needs to do:

  • End-of-life health care decisions are documented in a legally binding document;

4.4.18Remember to update your estate plan, especially if your life includes events like new kids, a new marriage or the death of a loved one.

If you love your family, you’ll keep them in mind when considering whether to make an appointment to update your estate, as you go through the inevitable changes of life. Not doing so can create financial and emotional burdens. That’s probably not how you want to be remembered.

According to a recent Newsday article, “Make sure your estate plan keeps up with life changes, experts say,” estate planning may seem overwhelming and depressing because it deals with issues of aging.  Some people believe that estate planning is just for the very rich.

8.8.16Passing your home to your heirs can occur in a number of ways, depending upon your situation and your family. It’s not a do-it-yourself project—even in the simplest cases.

If you own a home and want to leave it to your loved ones, there are steps you need to take to ensure that your wishes are achieved. According to Fox News, “You're Going to Die—Here Are the Best Ways to Deal with Your Home,”, inheriting a collection of 80s Transformers action figures won’t have a big impact on your heirs, but a sizable asset like a house will.

Here are a few ways to help prepare now.

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