What Are Your Options For Joint Ownership In Arizona?
Titles are important. How a property is owned – how it is titled – can make a huge difference in how the property is handled after an owner passes away. There are several joint ownership options in Arizona, each with its advantages and disadvantages.
In Arizona, community property law presumes that property acquired during a marriage is owned 50-50 by each partner. It’s important to note that the term “property” doesn’t just mean real estate. Cars, financial accounts, boats, art, income, savings, business ownership interest, and so on, are also property. Even most debts created during the marriage are divided equally between husband and wife.
When an owner dies, the decedent’s half of the community property will be divided according to the Will. If there’s no Will, the community property is passed according to Arizona intestacy laws. How much the spouse receives depends on several factors, including whether there are any descendants.
Community Property With Right Of Survivorship
Almost everything stated above about community property is true with community property with right of survivorship (CPROS). The big difference – and what can be a pretty useful one – is that the community property passes to the remaining spouse without having to go through probate.
Joint Tenants With Right Of Survivorship
Known as “JTWROS,” this title registration is common when you have two or more owners, each with an equal, undivided interest.
If one owner passes away, the surviving owners immediately take possession of the property. To transfer or sell the property, however, the title must be cleared. Presenting a certified copy of the deceased owner’s death certificate should clear the title.
Property titled as JTWROS passes through probate when the last surviving owner dies.
Tenancy In Common
Another common title registration is known as Tenants in Common or TIC. With property titled as TIC, everyone named on the title owns a vested part of the property that survives death.
Upon the death of an owner, that owner’s property is subject to probate.
The owner of property may transfer the property to heirs through a beneficiary deed, while still maintaining control over it. Property is automatically transferred to heirs upon the death of the grantor, the person who signed the beneficiary deed. As with any estate planning tool, there are advantages and disadvantages. Consult with an attorney before transferring property using a beneficiary deed.
Most financial assets, insurance policies, and retirements accounts allow the account holder to name beneficiaries. Upon the death of the owner, the property transfers automatically to the named heirs.
Learn More About The Importance Of Titles
Knowing how a property should be titled makes a big difference in your estate planning. At Keystone Law Firm, we use our estate planning experience to help clients like untangle property issues relating to your estate plans. Call us at (480) 418-8448. We offer services for clients throughout Arizona, including Chandler, Gilbert, Sun Lakes, Tempe, Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, and Apache Junction.