Joint Accounts, Joint Owner Property, And Laws

Joint owner property and accounts can be the poor mans will, but must be thought out carefully, the type of ownership you choose will impact your rights....

This is a very commonly used, husbands and wives often use this form of management of property, as it does not require the services of an expensive lawyer. Bank accounts are a familiar form of joint accounts. Joint ownership in land is, tenancy by the entirety, joint tenancy and tenancy in common.

The gain or benefit of joint ownership to accomplish the will of the owners is that each owner may make legally binding decisions on the fellow owner. When one cohort dies the property automatically passes to the surviving owner. This is a simple way of transferring property at death.

Joint Account:

This account will allow two or more people to withdraw funds from your checking account. Another person is given authority to write checks on your account. This can be convenient in many cases as in husband and wife relationship and in other incidents as well. Your local bank will have forms to set up this account for you. To cancel joint accounts simply close and withdraw the money.

There are different kinds of joint accounts, and this will depend on your particular State law. The account can be with or without right of survivorship. With right of survivorship, the money left in your account will pass to the survivor. Without right of survivorship, the money will be left according to the wishes, left in your will.

Remember the cosigner has unrestricted access to the account and is considered owner just as much as you, they will not be restricted from withdrawing all of your funds if they desire to do so. Some States allow the withdrawal of your funds, (after a court order), for payment of debts of the cosigner. There are risks in the usage joint accounts that will need to be considered carefully.

If the person on your account used your money in ways you did not intend, there are recourses however; it is difficult to sustain unless you have made a legally binding written agreement stating exact restrictions. If all of your funds have been removed, you may be able to get it back by law, which would be costly. Ultimately, that person may or may not have resources to cover the amount of money owed to you.

Tenant by the entirety, joint tenant, and tent in common, in land ownership

- Tenancy by the entirety is joint ownership between spouses Each one has an interest in the land during their lifetime. It takes the consent of both to sell the property. The survivor after death becomes the owner without having to endure the probate procedures, which would determine the ownership.

- Joint Tenancy is land owned by two or more persons who may or may not be married. Their interest is an undivided interest in all the land. The land cannot be sold without the ok of the other joint tenants. At death, the surviving tenant continues ownership of the land. This is not subject to probate proceeding.

- Tenancy in common means that each joint owner has a divided interest in the land. While each owner is living they have a right to dispose of the divided interest in the land as they see fit, however at death the divided interest before passing to heirs (not surviving co-owners) becomes part of the probate estate.

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