One of the biggest benefits of estate planning with the help of a knowledgeable attorney is recognizing when previous planning opportunities may not have gone far enough to cover your bases. Although owning property with family jointly may help you to ensure that the asset is passed on without going through probate, there are many different potential risks including creditor exposure, loss of control or unnecessary tax bills.
It is important to manage these risks or to evaluate other methods of estate management. Creditor claims exposure can occur when a creditor has a claim on a property if more people have ownership. The more people who own a property, the more people have control over it. This means other owners are able to transfer ownership and that if you decide to sell, you would have to get their permission. This can cause many different conflicts and disputes.
Joint ownership is only something to pursue with careful planning. When a portion of a property is given to someone other than a spouse, this can be considered a gift which can trigger estate or gift taxes. It also means that the property may not be subject to the exception for capital gains if your family sells the property after your death.
Since there are so many complicated factors involved in your decision to pass down property to someone else, it’s critical that you hire an attorney who can help you pick the right strategies overall.
Make sure that you consult with a dedicated Pasadena estate planning professional to discuss all of your primary questions and concerns around the estate planning process and whether or not jointly owned property makes sense.