Joint tenancy is the most frequent form of ownership of stocks, bonds, real estate, and bank accounts in the U.S. Many financial advisors recommend joint tenancy because it avoids probate.
There are times when joint ownership may be appropriate. For instance, an adult child may hold joint ownership of an aging parent’s checking account to assist him or her in paying bills.
Joint ownership also presents more potential trouble than any other legal status in estate planning, however. Most people don’t realize that joint ownership almost always supersedes the stipulations of a will.
Improper use of joint ownership can result in the following:
Make the jointly held assets vulnerable to suits and judgments against any one of the joint owners.
Make it much easier for any one of the joint owners to take all the jointly held assets without permission of the other joint owners.
Make a will legally ineffective.
Increase estate taxes at the death of the surviving joint owner.
Review all the assets you currently hold in joint tenancy. If you sense that any of them may present a potential problem, consider changing joint tenancy to another form of ownership, such as individual ownership, trust, or limited partnership.
Please note that this Scottsdale Real Estate Blog is for informational purposes and not intended to take the place of a licensed Scottsdale Real Estate Agent or a Real Estate Attorney. The Szabo Group offers first class real estate services to clients in the Scottsdale Greater Phoenix Metropolitan Area. Award winning Realtors and Re/MAX top producers, The Szabo group delivers experience, knowledge, dedication and proven results. Contact Joe Szabo at 480.688.2020, [email protected] or visit www.scottsdalerealestateteam.com to find out more about Scottsdale Homes for Sale and Estates for Sale in Scottsdale and to search the Scottsdale MLS for Scottsdale Listings.