A joint tenancy is a form of ownership in which at least two people possess equal shares in some property. In a joint tenancy, when one of the owners (or a “joint tenant”) passes away, the property or assets held in the joint tenancy will automatically be transferred to the surviving tenant(s) without formal probate.
By allowing people to bypass probate, a joint tenancy can end up saving people a lot of time, stress and money; however, joint tenancy is not for everyone, as the possible drawbacks may outweigh the benefits in some cases.
At the Law Offices of Darrell C. Harriman, our North Hills probate attorney has extensive experience developing and overseeing joint tenancies. If you are ready to find out if a joint tenancy may be right for you, don’t hesitate to contact us today.Transferring Property Held in a Joint Tenancy
When a joint tenant passes away, the process for transferring the property held in a joint tenancy to the surviving joint tenant(s) is generally as follows:
A certified copy of the death certificate will need to be obtained.
The surviving joint tenant(s) or a family member of the decedent will need to complete and sign an affidavit regarding the death of the joint tenant.
The affidavit will have to be notarized and then submitted to the court (and the associated administrative court fees will have to be paid).
Once these documents have been reviewed by the proper authorities, the property held in the joint tenancy will be transferred to the surviving joint tenant(s). In cases when there is just one surviving joint tenant, the joint tenancy will no longer exist.
Most commonly, real property like homes, buildings, land, etc. are the assets held by a joint tenancy. Bank accounts, stocks and other property may also be held in joint tenancies.
There are some tax issues that have to be considered when developing a joint tenancy, particularly when high-value assets are being held in this type of ownership.
With homes, forming a joint tenancy may prevent a surviving joint tenant from taking advantage of a step-up in basis (for the purposes of capital gains taxes).
Do you need help setting up a joint tenancy? If so, the trusted San Fernando Valley probate attorney at the Law Offices of Darrell C. Harriman is ready to meet with you and talk about your best options. For more than 34 years, our San Fernando Valley probate attorney has been dedicated to providing his clients with personalized, highly responsive service, as well as superior representation for their important probate matters.
This means that, if you choose to move forward with us, you can count on the fact that our San Fernando Valley probate attorney will provide you with:
- Clear answers and information about your case
- The best representation
- A successful resolution to your legal issues.
Let’s talk about your legal needs today. You can contact our firm by calling (818) 892-7093 or by filling out the contact form on this page.
From our offices based in North Hills, we provide the highest quality legal services to our clients throughout the San Fernando Valley, Simi Valley, North Hills and the greater Los Angeles area.