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Consequences of Adding People to Deeds and Accounts: Must-Read Article

I often receive calls from potential clients who, in order to “make things easier,” want to add their son or daughter to a deed or a financial account.  I emphasize to them that although doing so may eliminate the need for probate (court proceedings) and may be relatively easy, adverse tax consequences may result.  In addition, doing so may make the asset more susceptible to the claims of the other owner’s creditors.   Finally, the required approval of all owners in decisions to sell jointly-held properties creates a lack of control.   Bridget J. Crawford, professor and Pace University School of Law, and Michael Epstein, trust officer at Comerica Bank in Boca Raton, Florida, wrote an outstanding article, which covers these issues and the basic tax treatment of joint tenancies.  I think that this article, although probably written for tax professionals, is a must-read article for anyone considering joint ownership of assets.

The article is downloadable on SSRN.  The publication info is as follows:  Bridget Crawford and Michael Epstein, “Basic Gift and Estate Tax Treatment of Joint Tenancies,” 2013 TNT 201-4, October 17, 2013.

 

Want to further discuss these issues?  Contact me at 954-944-3929 or nrumbak@rumbaklaw.com.

*This document contains legal information, but does not contain legal advice.

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