Joint Ownership Seems So Fair and Easy…

by | Mar 12, 2012 | EP-FamilyFarmsPage, Family Farm, Risks of joint ownership, Wills and Trusts

Grandad left his property to Dad. Then when Dad passed away he left it to his two daughters and one son. The three kids owned it jointly after he died. Everything seemed fair and good. They never saw a need to divide the property.

Well, the son was in his 50’s when he started facing health problems. The family was sad to see his health go downhill so quickly. Finally, he spent time in a nursing home before passing away.

Not long after his death, the sisters were surprised to learn that the State of Illinois had placed a lien on the family property because of the nursing home care their brother had received. Now, the sisters were faced with a really tough situation of how to pay off the lien. Should they sell the land or take out a loan and pay off the government so they could try to keep it in the family?

The problem with jointly owned property

Jointly owned property — it sounds so clean, easy and fair. But it can also lead to many problems. Do you and other family members own real estate jointly? If so, then not only do you have to worry about your own estate planning, but you also better make sure the other joint owners have planned well, too. If not, their lack of planning could land in your lap later.

Our team is experienced in helping families deal with the challenges that farmland or family property presents. The key is planning AHEAD to lessen the challenges that may come. Our comprehensive process helps identify and anticipate potential problems that can crop up. (No pun intended.) Give us a call at 217-726-9200 to get started today, or keep learning more with the following articles:

6 Ways to Save the Family Farm

Saving the Family Farm

12 Reasons Not to Give Property or Money to Your Kids Right Now (a free report)