Monday, October 30, 2006

Will/Trust vs. Jointly owned assets

Think if you have a will or trust established that you have your estate plan completed? Guess again. If you own an asset jointly with someone else, it is possible that by operation of law that particular asset will pass automatically at your death to that person. Doesn't matter what your will provides or what a trust provides. The fact that you jointly own that asset is the "estate plan" for that particular asset.

While property passing to a joint owner may fine for most situations, many "planned" estate plans have been ruined by this "quick and dirty" estate plan. What if you have children from an earlier relationship that you have provided for in your will/trust? Jointly owned asset cut those beneficiaries out of the picture entirely.

Executing a will or trust is a good first step in the estate planning process. A careful and complete review of your assets and the way those assets are owned is also necessary for a complete estate plan.

Contact an estate planning attorney for further information.

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