What is Co-Ownership Planning and Does it Offer Asset Protection?

Co-ownership planning is the concurrent ownership of property by two or more people. The most common co-ownerships involve assets owned between spouses. When we refer to co-ownerships, we do not usually mean the co-ownership of business entities by multiple individuals (unless an undivided interest is held jointly or as tenants-by-the-entirety), nor do we refer to multiple beneficial interests in a trust.

There are four types of co-ownerships:

  1. Tenancy-in-common (TIC)
  2. Joint tenants with right of survivorship (JTWROS)
  3. Tenants-by-the-entirety (TBE)
  4. Community property

For detailed information about the various forms of co-ownership, watch the rebroadcast of our October 2018 Webinar: Asset Protection and Tax-Saving Strategies for Real Estate

It's important to understand the distinguishing features of each. Many folks don't understand the consequences of co-owning assets with others.

One form of protective co-ownership is tenancy-by-the-entirety (TBE). Twenty-five states, at least to some extent, protect assets owned by spouses as TBE against the creditors of only one spouse.

Some TBE states limit their protection only to the family residence and other states extend their protection to other real estate, and still other states extend their protection to any assets, including stocks, bonds, personal property, and so forth that are titled as tenants-by-the-entirety.

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