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Do you need to include shared property in your estate plan?

On Behalf of | Feb 12, 2024 | estate planning | 0 comments

When planning your estate in California, it is important to consider all aspects of your assets. This includes assets that you share with others.

Shared property, such as a family home or joint bank accounts, can pose unique challenges if you skip them in your estate plan or do not address them properly.

Shared property and estate planning considerations

Shared property refers to any assets that two or more individuals jointly own. Examples could include real estate, bank accounts and investments. In California, community property laws often apply to shared property. These laws can impact the property’s distribution upon the death of one of the owners.

Without a clear estate plan, disputes and complications may arise among your beneficiaries. Including provisions for shared property in your estate plan can help meet your wishes and minimize the potential for conflicts.

Potential challenges

Without specific instructions, the courts may decide the fate of shared assets. This can lead to delays, expenses and uncertainty for your beneficiaries. Additionally, conflicts may arise among family members over the distribution of shared property, potentially straining relationships and causing unnecessary stress during an already difficult time.

Options for shared property

One common approach is to create a trust that holds shared assets and outlines their management and distribution after your passing. Another option is to establish joint tenancy or designate beneficiaries for specific assets, such as retirement accounts or life insurance policies.

Taking the time to address shared property can provide peace of mind and take care of your loved ones.