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Arlene Rheinfelder, EA, CP AZCLDP

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Melissa Hill, AZCLDP

I love the challenge of finding a way to help each person's unique situation. It is never the same because each person is different with their own needs and wants.

Reader Question: If I hold title to my property with another person as joint tenants with rights of survivorship will it transfer without probate if one of us dies?

In most cases, yes. In Arizona for example, Allen and Betty own a home as joint tenants with rights of survivorship. Allen passes away. Betty records the death certificate in the county in which the property is located and ownership transfers to Betty, as the sole surviving owner.

But, what happens if Allen and Betty pass away in a car accident within a few hours of each other? There is no survivor, so probate, or in certain cases an Affidavit of Transfer, may be required to transfer the property to the heirs.

In fact, this situation may require a “double” probate, in which a probate must be opened for both Allen and Betty, at twice the expense. If you face a situation like this, you may need attorney advice to determine the best course of action for your circumstances.

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Please Note: We are NOT attorneys and do NOT provide legal advice. Your information is confidential, but we do not have attorney-client privilege. If you need legal advice, you will be referred to an attorney.

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