One may assume that if he holds a bank account jointly with another individual, upon the death of one the assets in the account will naturally attribute to the other. However, this is not the case, at least in Texas. As an estate planning lawyer in Bryan will advise, it is very important to make sure you set up joint bank accounts with right of survivorship in order for them not to end up in probate.
Value of Right of Survivorship
An estate planning lawyer in Bryan will work with you to make sure that any account you jointly own conforms to your wishes for survivorship. Many couples have joint accounts just as a matter of course; indeed, as they age and/or have children and become more concerned about estate planning, they may see a joint account as a way of avoiding inheritance taxes.
As your estate planning lawyer in Bryan will tell you, protecting an account with right of survivorship can, indeed, minimize tax exposure. The only assets in the account that will be taxable are those deposited by the decedent tenant. An account set up as a “JTWROS” (joint tenant with right of survivorship) also will, as previously noted, keep it from entering probate.
Who Can Be Included in a Joint Account with Right of Survivorship?
Your estate planning lawyer in Bryan will tell you that virtually any two or more people can be tenants to an account. For instance, one may wish to set up an account with adult children. One should be cautioned, however, that such an account does not work well as a substitute for a will. If the decedent’s wishes were, say, that one joint tenant receives 75% of his share of the assets, and another 25%, it would be better to specify this in a will.
Right of Survivorship Accounts and Creditors
A JTWROS does not protect assets in a joint account from creditors, should the decedent die with outstanding debt. However, in most cases only the assets in the account deposited by the decedent will be affected. Should a person wish to protect assets from potential creditors, it is best to speak with an estate planning lawyer in Bryan who can outline the options available.
Call an estate planning lawyer in Bryan for More Information
If you have questions about asset protection, estate taxes, and probate, an estate planning lawyer in Bryan at Peterson Law Group would be happy to speak with you. We provide the highest standard of legal assistance to our clients. Call us today to arrange a consultation at (979) 703-7014.