Estate Planning & Living Trusts

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20. Joint ownership and probate example

Tom and Ann, like most married couples, own their home as joint tenants with right of survivorship.

Tom dies suddenly in an accident. Immediately upon his death, Ann automatically becomes the sole owner of their home. There is usually going to be some paperwork involved, but there is no probate.

But what happens when Ann dies? Is there a probate? Yes. That's the only way to get her name OFF the title and put someone else's on. So, you see, joint ownership doesn't AVOID probate-it just POSTPONES it.

Owning assets jointly can cause other problems, too.


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