Joint Tenancy

By: Martin M. Shenkman, CPA, MBA, JD

If you and your spouse or another person own assets as joint tenants, when one of you dies, the property automatically passes to the surviving joint tenant. Too often used as a means of avoiding probate, although it is not necessarily the optimal tax strategy for most people. When structuring a QPRT, the title to the residence may be changed to tenants in common so each spouse, where applicable and appropriate, can transfer one-half interest to his or her separate QPRT.

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