Avoiding The Pitfalls of Joint Ownership As An Estate Planning Tool and Effective Alternatives
Topic: Avoiding The Pitfalls of Joint Ownership As An Estate Planning Tool and Effective Alternatives
When discussing long-term or estate planning goals with their advisors (whether it be their attorney, accountant, or financial advisor), clients frequently state that the avoidance of probate is a major goal of their intended planning. Today, those working with clients in the areas of estate planning have many tools to choose from to accomplish the goal of avoiding probate. For some clients, a comprehensive estate plan including a trust may be the most appropriate tool or option. For other clients, a trust may not be necessary or may not be the most cost-effective estate planning tool. While titling property or assets jointly may very well accomplish the goal of probate avoidance, it frequently poses other unexpected risks or consequences. Marc and Steve will discuss some of the potential risks and consequences (legal and tax related) of using joint ownership as an estate planning tool and then will offer alternatives that will accomplish the same goal.
Steven E. Makulski is a shareholder in the Jackson law firm of Anderson & Makulski, PC. Mr. Makulski concentrates in the areas of estate planning (from basic to sophisticated), estate and trust administration, fiduciary services, real estate, and business law. He is the Vice President of the Jackson Area Estate Planning Council.
Marc Allen is a certified public accountant and senior tax manager with Rehmann. Prior to his career with Rehmann, he worked for Deloitte Tax, LLP. He focuses his practice on serving high net-worth individuals in the areas of estate and gift planning and trust taxation. He is also a member of the Jackson Area Estate Planning Council.