When it comes to estate planning, avoiding the need for a probate administration is often high on the list of important goals for the plan. A living trust is often the best way to accomplish this. Owning an asset jointly along with someone else also avoids probate, since the asset often passes automatically to the survivor without the need for probate court oversight. Simply adding a co-owner to all of your assets, however, is not as favorable a method as taking the time to set up a trust and an Anaheim estate plan. The following are several common reasons why adding joint owners to your assets is not a replacement for a trust:
- Assets that are owned jointly are considered an asset of your co-owner. This means that the co-owner has access to and use of the asset.
- Jointly owned assets could potentially be factored into any bankruptcy proceedings of your co-owner.
- Jointly held assets could potentially be included in any divorce proceedings of the co-holder.
- Adding someone as a joint owner of the asset could have significant tax consequences.
- Jointly held assets might be unreachable in the event that your co-owner is subject to a lawsuit.
To learn more about creating an Anaheim estate plan that can help you avoid probate, view our free guide, Understanding the Revocable Living Trust - In Language that Anyone Can Understand in 8 Minutes. For more information about living trusts and avoiding probate, contact an experienced Anaheim estate planning attorney at the Law Office of James F. Roberts & Associates, APC, today at (714) 459-5481.