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Decedent's Tenants in Common Property

Part of the estate administration process includes determining whether property owned by the decedent is shared by any other individual as either a joint tenant or as tenants in common. A tenants in common property differs from joint tenant property in that it can be owned in shares by as many people as wanted, from 2 to 200 people. And shares do not need to be equal.

Upon the decedent's passing, their portion of a tenant in common property will pass through probate in one or two ways. Firstly, if the decedent has a valid will, then their portion will pass to the beneficiaries named in that will. Fairly straightforward. However, if there is no valid will or no beneficiary named, then the property will pass according to the laws of intestacy to the decedent's heirs. Of course, deciding which state law governs is the ruse. If the property is not real estate, then it is assumed that the laws of the state in which the decedent last lived at time of death will prevail. But if it is real property, the laws of the state where the real property is located would be upheld. Whatever difference between state laws may be.

If you wish to by-pass this probate process altogether, you may want to consider titling your tenant in common property using the name of your revocable living trust. This may guarantee that property passes directly to the beneficiaries of that trust.

If you live in the Southern California area, contact a professional Los Angeles estate litigation and Estate Administration Attorney at the offices of David A. Shapiro to find out what options are available to you.


*This blog entry was not written by an Attorney and should not be constituted as professional legal advice.
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