Estate Planning & Living Trusts

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22. Joint ownership summary

The bottom line is that joint ownership can cause a lot of problems:

1. It doesn't avoid probate -- it just postpones it.

2. If you die first, you have no way of controlling what ultimately happens to the asset. You could unintentionally disinherit your own family.

3. If your co-owner becomes incapacitated, you could find yourself with a new co-owner -- the court!

4. Adding a co-owner is easy, but taking his/her name off the title is not. If your co-owner doesn't agree, you could end up in court.

5. You could end up in a lawsuit if your joint owner is sued over an accident that involves the jointly-owned asset.

6. You expose the asset to the other owner's debts -- the property could be seized as settlement.


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