Thursday's Tip

Tip of the Day

You may hold title to assets in joint tenancy with your spouse, but should avoid joint tenancy with your children.

Further Explanation

When an asset is held in joint tenancy, then the asset is vulnerable to creditors of either of the joint owners. You don't want your child's creditors or potential divorce to jeopardize your assets. The better option is signing a Durable Power of Attorney that grants certain rights (ex. to pay bills and file tax returns) to your children in case you are incapacitated.

Common Misconception

"Having a will avoids probate."

In fact the opposite is true. Using a "will" to pass assets on death ensures that your estate will go through the court probate process. A will must be filed in probate court in order to legally transfer and administer an estate. If you want to avoid the delays and expense of probate, then a trust will accomplish your goal.

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