Estate Planning

Probate Attorney Denver

Joint Ownership Of Property in Adams County

Most people think of property ownership as a singular, all-or-nothing concept. In fact, the law permits many forms of ownership, each with a unique set of rights. The form of property ownership affects its ultimate disposition. Thus, a critical part of estate planning is examining the ownership of your property and ensuring that it reflects your wishes.

Joint tenancy is a way of owning real or personal property by two or more individuals. When property is owned in joint tenancy, there are two or more owners and each owns an undivided share in the same interest. If property is not owned in joint tenancy, it is owned as "tenants in common," and each owner owns a fractional share.

To own property in joint tenancy, the deed or title must have the words "as joint tenants" or "in joint tenancy;" otherwise it will be assumed that the co-owners own the property as tenants in common. In a joint tenancy situation, when one of the joint tenants dies, his or her interest automatically passes to the surviving joint tenant(s), allowing the surviving joint tenant(s) to avoid probate.

Property owned in joint tenancy is subject to the liabilities and creditors of all of the joint tenants. For example, if one of the joint tenants is held liable in a civil lawsuit, the plaintiff or creditor may force the sale of the entire property. Similarly, if a bank account is owned in joint tenancy, any of the joint tenants has the right to withdraw the entire amount at any time.

Obtain A Professional Evaluation Of The Ownership Structure Of Your Assets in Adams County

At Tolison & Williams, Attorneys at Law, LLC, I can undertake a comprehensive analysis of your assets, including their ownership structure, and advise you of the ramifications of different forms of ownership. I am passionate about empowering clients to make important decisions regarding their future with the confidence that comes from receiving professional legal guidance.

Any comprehensive estate plan requires examining the ownership structure of your assets. I invite you to call us at 303-500-7706 or contact me online to arrange a consultation.

At my firm, you will receive individualized attention. I genuinely care about each client's future, and invest the time to develop personal relationships with clients. You can return to me anytime with questions, concerns or new estate planning needs.

Types Of Joint Ownership

For many people, jointly owned real property is their most significant asset. It is important to examine the exact form of ownership to determine how the property will be passed to future generations.

Joint ownership of property can be accomplished in two primary ways:

  • Joint tenancy: Through this form of ownership, each owner has a right of survivorship. This means that if one owner passes away, the entire property will automatically transfer to the surviving owner. This is true even if the nonsurviving owner attempted to transfer the property through a will or trust.
  • Tenancy in common: In this form of ownership, each owner may determine how his or her share of the property is transferred upon death. For example, each owner may dispose of his or her share through a will or trust.

Determining what type of ownership is at issue requires examining the language of the deed. Likewise, if it makes sense to change the form of joint ownership, certain legal requirements must be satisfied. We can help ensure that the deed effectuates the goals you intend to accomplish.

Contact A Brighton Estate Planning Lawyer

Estate planning doesn’t have to be tedious and complicated. At Tolison & Williams, we personalize the estate planning process so that you receive services and advice tailored to your unique situation. Learn more by contacting us at 303-500-7706. From our office in Brighton, Colorado, we serve clients throughout the area.


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