Oftenly Overlooked Issues of Owning Property as Joint Tenants – Part 1

For one reason or another many older individuals are adding other people’s names to their property as co-owners. There are many reasons why an individual may want to add another person’s name to their property. For example, the individual may need help keeping track of their financial accounts and paying bills so they will add a family member to their accounts so that the family member can help them out. Another time this strategy is commonly seen is when an individual wants to conduct some informal estate planning by adding their children or friends as joint owners on either real property or personal property items such as car titles. Typically these ownership arrangements create legal ownership in the assets known as joint tenancy with rights of survivorship which means that upon the death of one of the joint owners the surviving joint owner will become the sole legal owner of the property. Unfortunately, when individuals decide to name a co-owner on their property they often focus on the immediate benefit to them without considering the many potential issues that could arise. This series of blog posts will discuss some of the overlooked issues that result from adding a co-owner to your property.