Joint tenancy is a form of property ownership for real property and personal property. How the property is owned with another impacts how property ownership changes at an owner’s death. With joint tenancy, there is a right of survivorship between the parties when one party dies. In other words, the property does not pass through probate or a trust; the surviving owner owns the entire property.
The type of ownership of property (such as joint ownership or tenants in common), when ownership was transferred, and how ownership was transferred, is critical to evaluating potential estate planning impacts, basis adjustment (income taxes), and Medicaid issues. It is important to consult with an attorney and/or a CPA before transferring ownership of property, so you fully understand the ramifications of such a transfer.