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Joint Tenants With Right Of Survivorship

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Joint tenants with right of survivorship, sometimes abbreviated JTWROS, is a legal method of holding property in which ownership is shared by two or more people, each enjoying equal rights to the property. Owners who hold property as joint tenants with right of survivorship are referred to as joint tenants. Joint tenants with right of survivorship can be used by unmarried or married couples. Examples of assets typically held as joint tenants with right of survivorship include primary residences and bank or brokerage accounts. Business partners sometimes will hold their business property as joint tenants with right of survivorship.

Upon the death of one of the joint tenants, the ownership of property held as joint tenants with right of survivorship passes directly to the other joint tenant(s), regardless of any conflicting instructions for distribution of said property in the decedent's will. Using joint tenants with right of survivorship to hold property keeps the property out of the estate of a decedent joint tenant, though estate and/or gift taxes may apply. Liabilities attached to a property held as joint tenants with right of survivorship continue to be attached to that property and become the responsibility of the surviving joint tenants. Unless ownership is re-registered differently, property held as joint tenants with right of survivorship passes to the estate of the last surviving joint tenant.



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