Jointly owned property may form part of your estate, depending on how it is held.
If you own property with another as Joint Tenants this means that upon the death of the first joint tenant, the interest in the property passes automatically to the surviving joint owner. This is also referred to as the “Right of Survivorship”. This is an automatic right. As a result of this automatic right, this property will not form part of your estate. The only time this property would form part of your estate is if you were the last surviving joint tenant and you passed away. The property falls to the estate of the last joint tenant to pass away.*
Jointly held bank accounts are also subject to the “Right of Survivorship” and as a result will pass to the surviving joint owner upon your death.
Tenants in Common
If you own property with another as a Tenant in Common, you can own equal or unequal shares. The difference with Tenants in Common is that when you pass away, your share will fall into your estate and be dealt with and distributed in accordance with your Will or the Rules of Intestacy (if you don’t have a Will). For example; you own a house with another and you own 50% each as Tenants In Common. When you pass away, your 50% share of that property will fall into your estate.
*Note: other considerations might be relevant to your estate plan if you have property in NSW.read more