Estate Planning & Probate Specialists

Estate Planning & Probate Specialists

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Wills, trusts better than joint tenancy

It is not uncommon for people in the state of Texas who want to avoid probate to utilize joint tenancy instead of creating trusts or wills. Joint tenancy is possible when the owner of an asset decides to transfer it to a beneficiary by placing the beneficiary’s name on the title of the asset, for example. However, estate planning tools such as wills can be more advantageous than joint tenancy.

Joint tenancy is sometimes used for transferring assets such as bank accounts or homes to the intended recipients. However, joint tenancy is disadvantageous if the beneficiaries happen to have judgments against them or have creditors, or if they are going through divorce. In these situations, liens may be allotted to the assets given to them, and creditors might even push for homes to be sold so that they can get the beneficiaries’ particular interest in these assets.

In addition, joint tenancy may not be helpful when it comes to bank accounts. A beneficiary may decide to go ahead and take money from the bank account on which his or her name has been placed. However, creditors may also try to pursue these funds.

Estate planning, such as creating wills or trusts, is safer than relying on joint tenancy because asset owners can easily assign their assets to loved ones. They can even determine when the assets should be distributed, and how. An attorney in the state of Texas can offer guidance during the complex process of putting together a comprehensive estate plan.

Source:, “Estate planning: Wills and trusts as means of security“, Zahraa Farhat, April 1, 2017