How Joint Tenancy Changes the Probate Process

If you are sharing the ownership of your property with a spouse, roommate, or family member, then you may be able to bypass the entire probate process and save your family a lot of money upon your passing. This is because all property that is held in joint tenancy is not a part of the probate process. Instead, the person who shares the tenancy will gain full possession of the property upon the passing of the other tenant. Legally, creditors don't have access to any property that is held by joint tenants, which is why it can avoid the probate process.

It is important to know that there are not loopholes with this process. You cannot transfer the title of a property to joint tenants to hide from creditors right before your passing. In this situation, creditors may make a claim against your part of the joint tenancy property and argue that this was not the original arrangement concerning the asset. If the courts determine that you were deceptive in trying to transfer your property to joint tenancy in order to avoid creditors, then the court may reverse the joint tenancy and make your executor take the property through the typical probate process.

Still, if you previously arranged a joint tenancy with other motives than simply avoiding creditors, then the court may uphold this. The joint tenants who whereas the property with you will have the right to the land or home because of the laws of survivorship which govern these arrangements. It is important to remember that you cannot change the heir of the property in a joint tenant relationship. For example, if you will your home to your daughter, but you are a joint tenant with a business partner, then your business partner will receive the property despite what was written in your will. This is because the property will transfer outside of the will. It will also transfer outside of intestate law, so if you do not have a will the court will not give the home or property to the person who would technically be next in line.

There are several benefits to a joint tenancy arrangement, and depending on your situation it may be a smart idea to create one of these partnerships before your passing and protect your property. Joint tenancy allows for cost savings. This is because the formation of a joint tenancy is inexpensive. This is different than some other arrangements, such as a living trust which can cost a significant amount of money to create. As well, joint tenancies allow for a clear transfer of the title of a home to a surviving joint tenant. The transfer is simple and obvious, helping to avoid conflict among family members.

In addition, it is convenient and fast to create a doing tenancy. You can also dissolve a joint tenancy at almost any time, and won't need to deal with complex legal documents in order to do so. You can use joint tenancy without having to worry about the wording in the documents because they will not be scrutinized and dissected as a part of the probate process. Joint tenancy can also keep your records private concerning your estate, which is a great advantage for those who value this. In addition, the probate process causes you to pay valid creditor's claims, but with a joint tenancy you won't have to deal with creditors.

While there are a lot of advantages to a joint tenancy, this arrangement isn't right for everyone. In fact, there are a variety of different limitations and disadvantages that you will want to evaluate before you choose to go ahead with this arrangement. The most significant thing to consider is the fact that you will need to leave the entirety of your property to your joint tenant. You cannot leave part of the property to this individual and another part to an heir. In addition, you will have no control in the property transfer because the death of the next-to-last joint tenant will leave the entire property to the survivor. As well, the surviving tenant has the right to dispose of the property however he or she wants. If you don't trust the joint tenant to use the property how you would wish, then you may want to reconsider this arrangement.

For example, if you always want your home maintained, and your joint tenant has discussed selling it to the city, then you may want to reconsider this arrangement. There are also a significant amount of tax disadvantages with this arrangement. There is typically a savings in income tax, but you may have an increase in estate tax because of your joint tenancy. In the end, if you want to avoid the probate process, joint tenancy can assist you. You will want to choose a trustworthy and dedicated joint tenant that you can trust to act in your best interests when he or she receives the property.

If you can trust your joint tenant and are willing to cope with the various risks, then you may benefit from the arrangement of a joint tenancy. You should talk to estate planning professionals as you go about this process, because it is important to have someone who is experienced and knowledgeable of the probate process there on your side. Don't hesitate to use this directory to locate professionals near you today that can help you in arranging your tenancy or dealing with other aspects of the probate process.