Many people want their spouses and children to receive their real-estate property when they die. For this reason, many homeowners create a revocable living trust so that the property is held in the trust and does not have to go through probate. However, for those who only want to create a will and do not have or want a trust, there is still a way to escape probate.
Property held as joint tenants can bypass probate. This means that real-estate property held in joint tenancy is not and cannot be part of the probate process. When one of the joint tenants passes away, the property passes to the co-owner of the property without having to go through the probate process. By sharing ownership of the property, the property is automatically passed to the surviving owner by right of survivorship.
Advantages of Joint Tenancy
By holding property in joint tenancy, there are many benefits, such as:
- Joint tenancy properties bypass probate.
- Creditors cannot access property held in joint tenancy.
- The process is private so that your matters aren’t part of public record.
- It provides for clear title transfer to the surviving joint tenant.
Are There Any Disadvantages of Joint Tenancy?
While there are many advantages of holding property in joint tenancy, there are a few disadvantages, including:
- You cannot leave a portion of property held in joint tenancy to another person besides the co-owner.
- Joint property could potentially be lost if there is a judgment against your joint tenant.
- There is an increase in estate taxes.
To find out if holding property in joint tenancy is in your best interest, or for help creating a will or a living trust, contact an experienced Georgia estate-planning attorney for advice. A knowledgeable lawyer will be able to advise you which way you should title property and what would be best for your estate-planning needs. Contact the Law Offices of Shane Smith for a free consultation at (770) 487-8999 to learn more about your options today.