How does holding Property in Joint Tenancy affect Estate Distribution?

     Many people are not quite sure what it means to hold property in "joint tenancy."  You may hold real property (real estate) and personal property like bank accounts, cars or investments in joint tenancy. Joint tenancy meants the property is owned by two or more persons in equal shares, by a title created by a single will or transfer that expressly declares that the interest created is a joint tenancy. If you are married, you can agree that certain property will be considered joint tenancy property. However, since California is a community property state, any agreement between spouses to change the character of the property should be in writing to avoid any confusion or mistake.

    One of the most important aspects of Joint tenancy property is that someone cannot devise away real property in their will. Therefore, any property held by the decedent (person who dies) and another person as joint tenants is not subject to probate. You should consult an experienced Los Angeles estate litigation attorney for more information on drafting wills in California.
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