How Joint Tenancy And Your Estate Plan

How Joint Tenancy And Your Estate Plan

Owning property as joint tenants with rights of survivorship is a popular way to avoid probate—but it will also affect how you distribute assets under your will and overall estate plan. Because joint tenancy with rights of survivorship allows property to pass to the other joint tenant automatically, title holders should avoid conflicting instructions in their estate plan.

Plan for these contingencies

If you own property as a joint tenant with rights of survivorship, you cannot leave that property to someone else in your will. If you predecease the other joint tenant, your property will automatically pass to them.

In most states, including Florida, both parties have an equal right to the property. This means that you cannot adjust the share amount, even if one person has put more money or sweat equity into the property. If this would cause issues between siblings or in a subsequent marriage, you may want to title the property differently.

On the other hand, joint tenancy with rights of survivorship can be an effective way to avoid the hassle and expense of probate. It is wise to consider these potential issues as you create your estate plan, so your attorney can help you devise appropriate solutions.

The trusted estate planning attorneys at BaumannKangas Estate Law in Tampa, FL are glad to troubleshoot potential joint tenancy issues. For more information, reach out to us today.