Joint Tenancy Attorney
What Does Joint Tenancy Mean?
Assets that are held in joint tenancy are distributed outside of probate. Joint Tenancy is sometimes referred to as "Poor Man’s Estate Planning" because it happens automatically, without the need for any probate proceeding. Assets that you hold in joint tenancy cannot be left to someone else through a Will or Trust. Instead, assets held in Joint Tenancy go by way of what is known as the “Right of Survivorship.” Right of Survivorship means that whomever is on title to the asset with you will inherit your share of it when you die. So, for example, if you own your home in joint tenancy with one of your children, when you die, that child would then own 100% of the home through the Right of Survivorship.
For real property held in joint tenancy, all the surviving joint tenant needs to do is record a document entitled Affidavit Death of Joint Tenant, along with a certified copy of the Death Certificate, and they become the sole owner of record. (They will also need to file a Preliminary Change of Ownership Report ("PCOR") and other forms with the County Recorder’s Office in order to avoid reassessment under Propositions 58/193.)
Just keep in mind that assets held in joint tenancy must still be reported on your Estate Tax Return if your estate is large enough to be assessed estate taxes.
Need help, call Wright Kim Douglas today at (626) 356-3900 for your appointment at our Glendale, California offices.