The pitfalls of joint tenancy estate planning

IS JOINT TENANCY ESTATE PLANNING ENOUGH?

Many people utilize the concept of joint assets or joint tenancy to plan their estate without a will or a trust. Because joint assets transfer automatically to the surviving owner upon the death of a co-owner, the assets avoid probate. Assets commonly owned in this way are real estate, bank accounts, and stocks or bonds. For some individuals, under the right circumstances, joint ownership estate planning can be a simple and inexpensive way to plan for asset transfers upon death. For others, however, the results can be disastrous. Continue reading

Do You Really Need a Last Will?

TO DIE WITHOUT A WILL?

The will is an estate planning tool surrounded by a myriad of myth and misinformation. Many people believe that merely having a will results in lower estate taxes or higher attorney fees. These ideas are false and contribute to the public’s misconception of wills. Simply put, a will is a person’s written direction as to how that person’s property will be distributed upon death. Plenty of smart, famous, and influential people used wills as the centerpiece of their estate plan.  Continue reading