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Is It Wise To Own Assets Jointly With Other Family Members?

Assets held by an person in joint accounts or “in trust for” accounts, pass directly to the beneficiary by operation of law. Assets with named beneficiaries such as insurance policies or retirement benefits are also treated in the same manner. To effectuate the direct transfer, varying paperwork such as a death certificate may be required.  In some instances, inheritances by operation of law can be very convenient. However, this method of transferring assets to heirs does not allow for special planning such as tax reduction or trusts for grandchildren or other heirs. Also assets held jointly may result in unintended inheritances. 


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