It is very common for spouses to own major assets such as their home, automobiles, and even bank accounts jointly with both of their names on the account. It is also common for elderly parents to add one or more of their children to their accounts to make it more convenient in paying bills and managing their accounts.

When you own joint property, that asset will pass directly to the other joint tenant named on the account automatically upon your death. Joint property is often one of the most contested items upon an individual’s death. Additionally, if both owners named on the account pass away, a Will can outline how the account should be passed on.

It is important to work with a skilled estate planning attorney who can help you understand all of the legal implications of account ownership and create an estate plan that properly accounts for your wishes for these accounts.