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Reviewing joint property titles important when estate planning

| Feb 27, 2020 | Firm News |

It is common for people in Ohio and elsewhere to consider having joint property. It may make sense for married couples or for individuals who otherwise want to equally share the property. Joint ownership can be beneficial when it comes to estate planning because it can allow the asset to pass directly to the surviving owner. However, the correct type of joint title must exist for that to take place.

If individuals want an asset to pass directly to the co-owner of the property, it is important that the title has rights of survivorship. When an asset is held in a title of joint tenants with rights of survivorship, the surviving owner does not have to worry about being named in a will as the beneficiary of the property. Instead, the transfer of ownership does not depend on the will at all, and after one owner’s passing, the deceased person’s portion of ownership passes directly to the surviving party.

On the other hand, some people may have assets titled as tenancy in common. While this is still a type of joint property, it does not have the same benefits of joint tenants with rights of survivorship. With tenancy in common, each person would need to indicate in his or her will to whom the owner’s portion should pass. As a result, co-owners could name completely different people to which the property ownership would transfer.

Understanding how assets are titled is an important aspect of estate planning. Ohio residents do not want to think that their assets will pass directly to one person only for the surviving family to later find out that is not the case. As a result, it is wise to go over all title information and other property ownership details when creating an estate plan.