Why Most Marrieds Share Alike

It makes marriage a partnership, share and share alike.

When one of you dies, the other automatically gets the goods. No doubts, no tears, no probate.

The other owner can’t wheel and deal the money away. As a practical matter, most joint property including in Atlanta car title pawn cannot be sold or borrowed against unless both of you sign.

This applies especially to real estate and securities registered in your personal names. Securities held in the name of a brokerage house (“street names”) are another story. It normally takes only one of you to buy and sell, even if the account is jointly owned. Similarly, mutual funds usually allow either of you to make telephone switches. But be it a mutual fund or a brokerage account, neither of you should be able to take the money and run. A check for the proceeds of any sale will be issued in joint names.

If one of you splits, he or she can clean out the bank accounts and safe deposit box. You can file a lawsuit to get back what is yours, but the effort might cost more than it is worth.

Some investments can’t be sold if one of you is too sick or senile to sign the papers, or too sore to cooperate. A durable power of attorney solves the first two problems. The third is all yours.

You can’t set up a bypass trust to reduce your estate taxes if your property is jointly owned with a right of survivorship. So if you are wealthy, this form of ownership costs the money. (However, joint property can be “disclaimed” into a bypass trust. You disclaim an inheritance when you refuse to accept it. If you are disclaiming for tax purposes, federal law gives you nine months to decide. The inheritance then passes to the next person or people in line, perhaps in trust.)

Your kids might lose money if you marry more than once. Say you put all your property in joint names with a new spouse, and die. That spouse gets everything, and you can cut out the children of your previous marriage. Not that such an awful thing will actually happen, but it could.

Joint property can be tied up for a long time in divorce because it often can’t be sold until both spouses agree to sign. Separate property can be sold anytime you want unless a judge ties it up during divorce after you pay at Atlanta car  title pawn.