On May 5, 2015

Here’s the conclusion to our blog series Joint Tenancy & Probate FAQs.

Joint Tenancy & Probate: More Important Info

Q – What are the advantages of joint tenancy in probate?

Here’s a look at the pros and cons of joint tenancy and probate. Contact our Denver probate attorney for the best representation in Colorado probate.

Here’s a look at the pros and cons of joint tenancy and probate. Contact our Denver probate attorney for the best representation in Colorado probate.

A – When it comes to probate, one of the single biggest advantages of jointly owning property is that the surviving tenants will NOT have to go through probate in order to have the title (or deed/ownership rights) transferred to them.

Bypassing probate for significant property like homes, real estate and bank accounts can be a huge benefit, as it can provide these surviving tenants with immediate (and potentially much needed) access to finances without much (if any) legal interventions.

Q – What are the disadvantages?

A – Although there are some major advantages that can be realized by owning property in joint tenancy, there may be some drawbacks too, depending on an individual’s situation. Specifically, just some of the possible disadvantages to joint tenancy can be that it:

  • Subjects the property to the surviving tenant’s liabilities and/or creditors – So, if a surviving tenant loses a civil lawsuit, (s)he could be forced to have to sell the property to satisfy the resulting judgment.
  • Can subject the surviving tenant(s) to gift tax liability, if the property is transferred into joint tenancy or major improvements are made to jointly held property
  • Negate certain terms of a will – For instance, if a will states that a piece of property should go to a decedent’s children but there is a surviving tenant of that jointly held property, the property would likely go to the tenant, rather than the children.

Given that such drawbacks will hinge on the specific situation – and that these may not be the only drawbacks, it’s best to consult an experienced lawyer when deciding whether to transfer property into joint tenancy and/or when making estate plans to try to help your loved ones avoid probate.

Q – Can I convert property held in a joint tenancy to be individuallt owned property?

A – Yes. Property held in joint tenancy can be titled differently, changing how that property is owned, via mutual agreement (or other ways). Here, however, it should be noted here that transferring jointly held property to be individually held property can result in some gift tax implications.

Denver Probate Attorney at JR Phillips & Associates, PC

Do you have more questions about probate and/or the estate planning process? If so, you can turn to a trusted Denver probate attorney at JR Phillips & Associates, PC for experienced legal help and the best representation. We provide a thoughtful, comprehensive approach to our clients’ estate planning, elder law and other legal needs, and we take pride in helping each of our clients and their families find the best solutions for them.

Let’s discuss your options during an initial consultation. To schedule this meeting, call us at (303) 741-2400 or email us using the contact form at the top of this page.

From our offices in Denver, we serve clients throughout the southwest and southeast Metro Area, including (but not limited to) people in Highlands Ranch, Littleton, Castle Rock, Parker, Aurora, Greenwood Village and Englewood.

Categories: Probate