Author: Michael Baron

Could Joint Tenancy With Right Of Survivorship be an Alternative to a Living Trust?

Dear Michael: We’ve been farming for many years. We were talking to friends and they mentioned they have a living trust to handle their estate planning. We’ve checked into various trusts – is this the one that protects our estate from long-term care costs? Signed, Is the Answer a Living Trust?   Dear ‘Is the Answer a Living Trust’: In its simplest terms, a living trust is another way for you and your husband to own property together. You have sole ownership – if one of you owns the property. You are allowed to pass your property to whomever you desire during your lifetime. However, if you are married, your spouse may have ‘spousal rights’ to the property upon your death, even if you direct it to someone else. Each state has their own laws regarding ‘spousal rights’. You have joint tenancy with right of survivorship (JTWROS) as another option. This type of ownership means there are two owners and the ‘survivor’ will automatically inherit the property from the first owner’s death. It doesn’t matter what your will states to the contrary, the property is now owned by the survivor. Why? Because JTWROS states there are two owners and upon death, the one who died is removed from the deed. People use this type of ownership all the time to pass property between spouses so they don’t incur probate...

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When Non-Farming Children Think Their “Share” is Unfair

Dear Michael: We have two sons who have been farming with us for the past twenty-five plus years and we have three children who left as soon as they could to go on to successful careers. We are approaching our seventies and wanted to set up our estate so the boys on the farm got the farm – via a life estate to protect it from long-term care costs – and the kids off the farm received the other assets as well as a cash payment from the two boys on the farm. We brought up our plans to...

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Living Trust Ownerships Explained

Dear Michael: We’ve been farming for many years. We were talking to friends and they mentioned they have a living trust to handle their estate planning. We’ve checked into various trusts – is this the one that protects our estate from long-term care costs? Signed, Is the Answer a Living Trust? Dear ‘Is the Answer a Living Trust’: In its simplest terms, a living trust is another way for you and your husband to own property together. You have sole ownership – if one of you owns the property. You are allowed to pass your property to whomever you desire during your lifetime. However, if you are married, your spouse may have ‘spousal rights’ to the property upon your death, even if you direct it to someone else. Each state has their own laws regarding ‘spousal rights’. You have joint tenancy with right of survivorship (JTWROS) as another option. This type of ownership means there are two owners and the ‘survivor’ will automatically inherit the property from the first owner’s death. It doesn’t matter what your will states to the contrary, the property is now owned by the survivor. Why? Because JTWROS states there are two owners and upon death, the one who died is removed from the deed. People use this type of ownership all the time to pass property between spouses so they don’t incur probate costs....

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