Pay Close Attention When Planning Your Will: Considering How Property is Held

It is far too easy for a layperson to create a will that works against their actual wishes for the disposition of their property. The process of estate planning is complicated, so individuals must pay close attention when creating these plans. A recent article discusses several aspects of estate planning to which people should pay close attention.

If there is a piece of real estate in your estate, pay attention to how it is held. Real estate may be held individually, as tenants in common, or in joint tenancy. For a piece of property that multiple individuals own as tenants in common, each share of the property will be distributed only on the corresponding owner’s death. The applicable share will be transferred in accordance to the owner’s will. The other owners of the property have no say in this distribution.

English: More houses here The area I have pict...
English: More houses here The area I have pictured here is where another smaller estate had planning permission turned down for. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If a piece of real estate is owned by two owners as joint tenants with right of survivorship, the decedent’s interest in the property passes to the surviving tenant at his or her death. This interest passes outside of the decedent’s will. Therefore, if you have a provision in your will governing how your share of a property held as tenants in common will be distributed, the property deed will override your will.

For assistance crafting your estate plan, contact an estate planning attorney today.


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