The NCPC publishes periodic articles under the title "Planning for Eldercare". Each article is written to help families recognize the need for long term care planning and to help implement that planning. All elderly people, regardless of current health, should have a long term care plan. Learn More...
From its inception, the goal of the National Care Planning Council has been to educate the public on the importance of planning for long term care. With that goal in mind, we have created the largest and most comprehensive source of long term care planning material available anywhere. This material -- "Guide to Long Term Care Planning" -- is free to the public for downloading and printing on all of our web sites. Learn More...
This is property titled solely in the name of one individual. It could be real property such as a home, land or rental property. It could also be personal property such as an automobile, boat, snowmobile and so forth. This type of ownership could also include investments such as stocks, bonds and mutual funds and so on. Or finally it could include a business interest solely in the name of one person.
Joint tenancy with right of survivorship is an arrangement where two or more people own property jointly. In most states, for those owners who are living, each person is considered to own his or her proportional amount of the property. For example, if there are five owners, each owns 20%. With a right of survivorship, when one of the owners dies, the value of the entire property transfers to the remaining living owners with each retaining his or her proportional share.
With jointly owned real estate, in most states, the property can't be sold or mortgaged without the consent of all the joint owners. This is one of the disadvantages of this kind of ownership. For example, if Mary decides to include her 4 children on the title of her home, she exposes herself to the following risk.
This is joint ownership with rights of survivorship recognized in 24 states. Tenancy by the entireties is allowed between spouses only in Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Wyoming, and the District of Columbia.
It is only available between a husband and a wife. This form of ownership treats the married couple as if they were one entity. Therefore, the death of one spouse does not have any consequences related to probate or any other estate issue. It's as if a death has not occurred and the surviving spouse simply takes over the title. While they are living, either member of the couple can access the funds without permission of the other. If it is real estate, consent is required for a sale or mortgage.
When one spouse dies, the property automatically reverts to the living spouse and bypasses any intestacy rules normally imposed by the state. There is also an added special feature to this type of ownership. The debts of one spouse cannot be attached as a lien on property that both spouses own together. If the spouse with all the debt dies first, the surviving spouse keeps all the assets free and clear of liens. In other words, creditors have no claim against the property inherited by the spouse.
This is an ownership with two or more people where each person owns a designated percentage share in the property. For example, let's look at the example with Mary and her 4 children. With joint tenancy (Mary and her 4 children), each owns a proportional share -- 20%. With tenancy in common, the ownership amount can be specified. For example this could be the property division between Mary and her 4 children for tenancy in common - 5%, 10%, 50%, 15%, 20%. There is no right of survivorship with this arrangement. In other words, the surviving owners do not inherit the deceased owner's portion. If an owner dies, the owner's interest in the property passes to the owner's heirs.
These are ownership arrangements that allow for the property after death to pass to designated beneficiaries. These types of properties include the following:
These arrangements also trump any provisions of a will. This fact must be considered when creating a will.