Joint tenancy is often though of as putting somebody else on the deed with you
Magic Language – “as joint tenants with the right of survivorship” OR “husband and wife”
Each person has equal access to the property
Avoids probate as to the people on the deed
Problems with Joint Tenancy
Only delays probate
Causes Medicaid qualification problems
If both tenants pass at same time, two probates may be required to clear the title
When blended families are involved, with children from previous marriages, here’s what could happen: the husband passes then the wife becomes the owner of the property. When the wife dies, the property goes to her children, leaving nothing for the husband’s children.
It takes all owners to sign the deed and contract for sale of the property.
When you place a non-spouse on your property as a joint tenant, you make a gift of property every time that joint tenant takes property out of the account.
For example, when a mother retitles her $80,000 account in Joint Tenancy with her son, she makes a gift to her son every time he makes withdrawals. This may not be the most efficient use of her $14,000 annual exclusion.
The main point is that the gift is unintentional and not carefully planned
By Attorney Gary DeWitt. Gary is founder of the law firm DeWitt Law Firm, PLLC.
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