Owning property jointly can be double-trouble.
A recent article in Forbes reviews some of “The Perils Of Joint Ownership”
Having two people named as owners, legally dubbed a “joint tenancy,” is quite common. Unfortunately, unless the joint owners are spouses (the most common form of joint ownership by far), it can quickly become a problematic scenario.
Imagine: homes, bank accounts, and other common assets being controlled by two independent minds with independent agendas. The original article has a few examples, but an all-too-common scenario is that the older relative and a younger relative own the assets of the older relative jointly. If and when the younger relative realizes that he or she has the power to use and enjoy the joint assets, then problems are not far behind.
What are some legitimate concerns? The original article fleshes out three:
1. Once a person’s name is added to the title of property, it can be undone only with his or her consent.
2. Property held in joint tenancy is immediately subject to claims of each joint tenant’s creditors.
3. Joint tenancy can produce unintended results.
Sometimes joint tenancy is a valid option, and even a quite beneficial one. That noted, there are other safer alternative means to reach the same ends.
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