On behalf of O’Brien, Barton & Hopkins PLLP posted in estate planning on Tuesday, April 4, 2017.
When it comes to planning for the future of their loved ones, people tend to overlook wills and trusts as a means of security. Ironically, for estate planning, wills and trusts are a much more secure way to distribute assets among a person’s friends and family. In Washington, as in other states, it is vital to make sure that all legal aspects of an inheritance are taken care of before a person is deceased.
Unfortunately, many people choose to skip over the “proper” estate planning documentation, such as wills and trusts, and simply add their loved ones to the titles and deeds of their property while they are still alive. They may also choose to keep joint bank accounts with loved ones that they plan to leave their money with. This is called joint tenancy.
One of the main problems with using joint tenancy to leave assets to a loved one is that it can backfire. The beneficiary of such an arrangement could actually be left with the debts of the deceased. Also, if the beneficiary goes through a divorce or has creditors seeking him or her out, the creditor could place a lien on the assets. A creditor could even push someone to sell their home in order to get their interest in the asset.
There are several other disadvantages of using joint tenancy instead of wills and trusts in estate planning. An experienced estate planning attorney can advise clients on how to properly file documentation to ensure that their wishes are met when they are deceased. In Washington, estate planning lawyers can help clients understand the different ways to leave their assets to their loved ones and choose which one is right for them.
Source: arabamericannews.com, “Estate planning: Wills and trusts as means of security ??? arabamericannews.com“, Zahraa Farhat, April 1, 2017