It Matters: Conversations with Loved Ones

 

Have Conversations With Joint Owners and Beneficiaries About Your Ministry Support and Involvement

Joint ownership is an arrangement where two or more persons share ownership of property. This arrangement allows someone else to have immediate access to your property and to use it to care for you if you become incapacitated.

What are the advantages of joint ownership?

First, it avoids expense of probate (including probating property held in other states) and the need for guardianship because the joint owner simply takes control. The joint owner of your property is able to receive your property without the need for court approval.

Second, it’s simple to create—all you need to do is either open new joint accounts or put title to your property in joint names. You can do this yourself, although you may want to consult an attorney if you intend to change a deed to real estate, for example.

Third, it’s inexpensive to implement. There are essentially no fees involved with changing title to your property. The joint owner who uses the property to support you is not entitled to a fee. The attorney’s fee for changing a deed and the filing fee for recording the deed should not be prohibitive.

What are the trade-offs to consider of joint ownership?

There are several items to consider with joint ownership. One important aspect the primary owner needs to be aware of is that the joint owner has complete ownership of the property. A joint owner completely owns the property with you making it an irrevocable grant interest in that property. Therefore, the person to whom you give a joint interest must be someone you trust. Another item to consider is you cannot direct the joint owner to use the property for your benefit. Although you can give the joint owner the authority to access your property, you cannot force the joint owner to act as you want him to. There is nothing that forces the joint owner to do any task, such as use the property to support you, file tax returns, or make gifts. And the property passes to the surviving joint owner. If you intend a different disposition of the property in question, your wishes may not be followed because joint property does not pass under your will, rather, ownership is retained by your joint owner. Note: A durable power of attorney or living trust may be better planning alternatives, but consult a professional advisor first.

In the next issue of Alliance Financial Care, we will discuss beneficiary designations and how to bring up the subject of keeping your investments in the Alliance family.

Have You Put Your Wishes In Writing?

By Joseph Padilla, The Orchard Foundation

It’s obvious through the Ten Commandments and the Bible that the Lord places a great emphasis on putting important things in writing. We put important things in writing too, such as marriage licenses and business contracts. But when it comes to writing our Last will and testament, we tend to put it off year after year.

The truth is that having a Christian will that legally provides for your loved ones is an important act of stewardship that believers often overlook. Have you stopped to consider that your will is the legal document that transfers stewardship of everything the Lord has entrusted to you? This is why you should not only stop putting it off, but also bathe the process in prayer and consider biblical principles when designing the right plan for your will.

So, why not continue your New Year’s resolution that you will take the time to be a good steward of your family and the things God has entrusted to you by writing your will or trust. For more information, contact the Orchard Foundation toll free at 1-888-689-6300 or email us at service@orchardalliance.org.

 
Rob Pease