Written by attorney James Lee Parke

Colorado Joint Tenancy - Estate Planning Benefits

### Joint Tenancy Defined - Joint Tenancy is a method of co-owning property with another person. The hallmark of joint tenancy is the "right of survivorship," or the assurance that when one owner dies, the other owner will automatically get full title to the property. While there are many complexities to joint tenancy, especially when more than two co-owners are involved or when estate and gift taxes are considered, joint tenancy is a simple solution for many people. Example - For example, if John and Jane buy a house in joint tenancy, they both own the house during their joint lifetimes. As such, they can each live in the house, and treat it as one of their assets. If the house is sold, they will each be entitled to a portion of the sale proceeds. Once John dies, however, his ownership interest evaporates, and Jane is left with full title. The other attractive feature is that the house will not have to pass through probate before Jane receives full title - it automatically happens under Colorado law. Benefits of Joint Tenancy - - Simple - Property will pass at death through joint tenancy even without a will or trust. Joint tenancy is very common, and is easily understood. - Probate Avoidance - People often tout joint tenancy as a probate avoidance technique. The "right of survivorship" allows title to vest in the surviving owner without passing through probate. Realistically, however, this only gets you half way there, as the property will be subject to probate at the second death (e.g. when Jane dies at a later date, the house will pass through probate before it goes to her children). - Privacy - One of the added benefits of avoiding probate through joint tenancy is the privacy that comes with not having the courts administer the property held in joint tenancy. In short, it does not become part of the public record. - Easily Terminated - It is very easy for either joint tenant to terminate a joint tenancy. A joint tenancy can be severed by transferring your interest in the property by gift or sale.

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