In joint ownership, two or more persons share an undivided fractional ownership in property with rights of survivorship. This mechanism is effective for avoiding probate, because the property passes automatically upon the death of one joint owner to the surviving owner or owners unless the client specifies in his or her will that joint accounts created merely for convenience shall be included in the disposition of the estate.
In the case of bank accounts, joint ownership may be a convenient way to delegate to another person the responsibility to make deposits, withdrawals or payments for the incapacitated client.
However, there are major drawbacks to joint ownership:
Attorney John Polgrean consults regularly with individuals and families in Nashua and from all Southern New Hampshire on estate planning matters including elder law issues confronting families with aging loved ones. Please contact John at (603) 883-0797 to set up a consultation if you or someone you know has questions/concerns in this area.
This blog is intended for informational use only. The information contained herein should not be construed as offering legal advice or a legal opinion.