If you ask an average person what he or she knows about probate, you'll likely get one of two responses. First, people might have no idea what you're talking about. Second, they might have some idea of what probate is, but they will know that it's probably something best avoided. While the second answer isn't exactly correct, there are good reasons why creating an estate plan to avoid probate is a good idea. As part of this goal, some people believe they can use jointly owned property to help … [Read more...] about Joint Property and Your Probate Avoidance Plan
Joint Owenership Perils
One thing that some people try to do to avoid probate is to transfer their house to their children while they are alive. For many, it seems like the simplest and easiest solution. This can be accomplished by adding the child to the ttile to the house as a joint tenant or by gifting it to them outright. However, a cautionary tale, that may or may not be literally true, illustrates what can happen when you do this. The story involves a judge who made a big legal error. The judge’s daughter … [Read more...] about How Not To Leave Your Home To Your Kids
It’s important to carefully consider each estate planning decision that you make, including the use of joint tenancy. While in limited circumstances it can be beneficial to own property in joint tenancy with another individual, there are also some significant disadvantages to this form of ownership. It’s important to carefully consider both the advantages and disadvantages before including joint tenancy in your planning. The benefit is generally probate avoidance . More disadvantages are … [Read more...] about Joint Tenancy: Watch Out for the Perils – Part 2 of 2
Some people choose to own properly jointly with the use of joint tenancy. This can be a form of ownership that has certain benefits. Unfortunately, there are also issues that may arise when people choose to include this form of ownership in their estate plan. It’s important to consider both the advantages and the disadvantages before creating an estate plan. The benefit is generally probate avoidance. More disadvantages are described below. You lose control of your assets. If you choose to … [Read more...] about Joint Tenancy: Watch Out for the Perils – Part 1 of 2
While there are some rather complicated estate planning instruments utilized to achieve certain objectives, there are some simple and straightforward ways to transfer assets to your loved ones as well. One of these would be through the utilization of payable on death (POD) or transfer on death (TOD) accounts. You can set up an account like this at banks or credit unions, and some brokerage houses will allow for transfer on death options as well. When you set up the account you name a … [Read more...] about Are Pay on Death (POD) Accounts a Good Idea?
Many people mistakenly believe that a simple Will is all the estate planning they need. However, it is very likely you may need more than a Will to cover your all assets. A Will does not cover all types of property. This is a list of five items your will cannot cover or address. Survivorship property: If you own property in joint tenancy with a right of survivorship with a co-tenant, your Will does not determine ownership and succession rights. Instead, the surviving joint tenant … [Read more...] about 5 Types of Assets A Will Does Not Cover
With the divorce rate hovering around 50 percent in the United States, blended families have become the norm in today's society. If you have just created a blended family, or are planning to do so in the near future, there are a number of changes that you may need to make to your existing estate plan in order to reflect your new status as a blended family. Although each family is unique, the following are possible options to consider. Adding Your Spouse to Titles. Titles to real property, … [Read more...] about What Changes Do I Need to Make to My Estate Plan When I Create a Blended Family?
No way! Married people need estate plans. Some folks think that because they own assets jointly with a spouse, they don’t need an estate plan. In fact, joint ownership is called a “poor man’s estate plan.” In reality, it should just be called a “poor estate plan.” Joint tenancy ownership is riddled with perils. Likely, the most serious peril is the unintentional disinheritance of your children. Sadly, it happens too often because of joint ownership. This is what can happen when you … [Read more...] about Married People Don’t Need Estate Plans, Right?
When someone dies, they typically leave behind various estate assets. This may include cash, investments, personal property or real property. All of the decedents property must be legally transferred upon his or her death. How the property is handled depends on a number of factors. Property held in joint tenancy with another person will pass by operation of law to the surviving joint tenant when the one of the joint tenant dies. In many cases, property held by husband and wife as community … [Read more...] about What Happens To One’s Property After They Die?
If you’re like most people, you may be startled to learn that your will won’t do what you think it should do. A will is effective for naming guardians for minor children, naming an executor, and directing assets titled in your individual name or payable to your estate. A will may not control all property because of the way most property is owned. For example, consider Marv’s will. Marv’s will provides that all of his assets go to his children upon his death because he spouse, his second … [Read more...] about When a Will Helps and When it Doesn’t Help