Determining whether joint tenancy is right for you

Before you and another party such as a spouse, partner, friend or sibling decide to buy California real estate together, you have a number of decisions to make. One of the most important is if joint tenancy is best for your situation. We at the Law Office of Leo B. Siegel often provide legal counsel to people who want to co-own property.

According to Home Express, one of your biggest benefits of joint tenancy could be the avoidance of probate. During probate, the executor of the estate lists all the assets and liabilities of the deceased person, and if the liabilities exceed the assets, the property may have to be sold to pay the creditors or taxes. If three people co-own a home, and one dies, his or her share may be sold during probate unless they have joint tenancy with right of survivorship. In that case, the two surviving owners each get half of the deceased owner’s share.

On the other hand, death could cause trouble for your heirs in certain circumstances. For example, say three co-owners are in a car accident. One dies at the scene, so his or her share passes to the other two owners. A few hours later, another owner dies, leaving one as the sole owner, but then that owner also dies. His heirs would receive the entire property, and the other two owners’ heirs would receive none.

For more information about potential issues and conflicts joint tenants may encounter, please visit our website.

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