Many individuals, especially married couples, possess assets such as real estate and securities as JWROS, or “joint tenants with right of survivorship.” When it comes to estate planning, the JWROS arrangement dictates that if one spouse passes away, the other spouse inherits the property automatically. If you’re a Florida resident, here are some important things you should be aware of regarding probate and joint tenancy.
The advantages of JTWROS
JTWROS allows couples to avoid the expense and time that is often connected with probate. Joint tenancy is an inexpensive and simple estate planning method for keeping property from going through probate. This arrangement also allows a person to take care of the asset if his or her spouse is incapacitated. Some couples may also choose to add an adult child to the joint ownership to easily handle investments and pay bills if the parents can no longer manage their finances.
Drawbacks of JTWROS
If you decide to use joint tenancy estate planning for your assets, your flexibility will be limited. If you own all the assets you have with your husband or wife, your spouse will inherit these assets when you pass away. Nothing will be passed on to your children or grandchildren regardless of what you’ve indicated in your will. It’s best to only use JTWROS for assets that you’re sure you want your spouse to inherit.
Depending on your estate’s size, taxes may be due once the surviving spouse dies. This can be avoided if the first deceased spouse would have left some of the assets to the couple’s children.
If you need to know more about estate planning, speak with a qualified attorney who can help you through the legal process. Setting up the right plan can give your family a secure financial future.