Language is one of the most important tools when dealing with the purchase of real property and how that property is handled as part of your estate. It can be all the difference of who gets what and could end up costing your beneficiaries thousands or even millions of dollars.
For example; say John and Bob decide they want to purchase a vacations property in a small lakeside community that they have visited with their families for years. They find a great cabin on the lake and purchase the property as 'joint tenants' because they are told that is the best way. Years pass and that small community has turned into a full blown resort, but unfortunately, John dies in a boating accident this year.
John leaves his share of the cabin, which has now increased significantly in value, to his only surviving sister. However, because the property is owned in joint tenancy with Bob, Bob gets the other share despite John's valid will. Now if only they had titled the cabin as 'tenants in common.' Why? Well, because then John's sister would have received his share after going through the probate process.
Make sure you know exactly how you want property titled before you purchase it jointly with someone. For more information on probating estates with property held jointly, please contact a professional Los Angeles Attorney for Probate.
*This blog entry was not written by an Attorney and should not be constituted as professional legal advice.