Is Joint Tenancy a good idea?

Joint Tenancy: a good idea?

In limited circumstances, joint tenancy can be an acceptable form of title. The most obvious example of a proper use of joint tenancy is when a young married couple (with no federal or state estate tax exposure) jointly owns a home. This arrangement will avoid probate at the death of the first spouse. But probate would be required when the home needs to pass to the children at the surviving spouse's death.

Some of the more common problems that arise when you own property/accounts as joint tenants with another individual are: (1) you lose some control over your property; (2) you subject your property to the creditors of the other joint tenant; (3) you may create unintentional gift tax problems; and (4) you could increase your exposure to unnecessary capital gain and estate tax liability.


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