Co-Ownership of Property and Avoiding Probate – 3 Questions
Question 1: Are There Different Types Of Co-Ownership of Property?
Yes, and not all types of property co-ownership avoid probate. The different ownership types include
tenancy in common, joint tenancy with right of survivorship and tenancy by the entirety. In all forms
of co-ownership except tenancy in common, you can avoid probate. If you own property as tenants in
common, however, your share of the property is part of your estate and must pass through probate.
Question 2: What is Joint Tenancy?
Jointly owned property is a way that two or more people can own property. For example, couples can
own their home as joint tenants. You may also own other types of property as joint owners, including
personal property, as well as bank accounts or other assets.
Question 3: What Is Probate And How Does Joint Tenancy Avoid It?
Once you die, all of your property and debts get lumped together into your estate. The estate debts
must then be paid for before your property can go to new owners, a process known as probate.
However, if you own property as a joint tenant with right of survivorship, the other owners become
the sole owners once you die. The property does not have to pass through probate.
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