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Understanding joint tenancy arrangements

Those who own property with a spouse or another person may be able to title the property in a way that potentially avoids going through probate. Pennsylvania residents and others may achieve this goal by creating joint tenancy with right of survivorship. This means that when one owner dies, another will automatically inherit his or her share of the property. Generally speaking, such rights can only be granted if all owners have an equal share of the asset.

Furthermore, these rights must be conveyed by all owners at the same time and with the same document. Finally, all owners must have the ability to enjoy or possess the property when joint tenancy with right of survivorship is granted. It is important to note that a property may need to go through probate after the final joint owner of the property has passed on.

This means that a court may need to verify who owns the property before it can be passed to another family member or sold to an interested buyer. If the last owner of the property doesn’t have a will, the property may be transferred based on a state’s intestacy law. However, as a general rule, joint tenancy with right of survivorship makes it easier, less stressful and less costly to transfer a home or other real property.

Ideally, everyone will create an estate plan at some point in their lives. However, it may be more important for those who are disabled and receive government benefits. The structure of their estate may determine what type of assistance they receive or if they are eligible for assistance at all. Those who are interested in obtaining government benefits may want to contact a lawyer to help navigate the process of doing so.