Utah Lawyer Stephen Howard
Call Utah Estate Planning Attorney
Call Utah Wills Trusts Lawyer
Utah Attorney Stephen W. Howard - Call 801-449-1409
Estate Planning Solutions Start HereSM
Utah Attorney Stephen Howard - Canyons Law Group

Estate Planning Solutions Start HereSM
Attorney for Last Will and Testament in UtahUtah Family Trust LawyerUtah Advance Health Care Directive Salt Lake Davis WeberUtah Guardianship Attorney Salt Lake Weber DavisUtah Attorney for Revocable Living TrustsUtah Estate Planning Attorneys Salt Lake Davis WeberUtah Probate Attorneys Salt Lake Weber DavisUtah Family Law Attorney Salt Lake Davis Weber

Can I use a joint tenancy to avoid probate in Utah?

Yes, but except for a married couple, it is generally a risky way to avoid probate.  Even for a married couple, there may be a better way to avoid probate in Utah.

Holding property under a joint tenancy (sometimes called a joint tenancy with rights of survivorship or "JTWROS") is an idea that has gained popularity in some circles as a way to avoid probate.  But holding property in Utah under a joint tenancy with anyone other than your husband or wife has risks that substantially outweigh the benefits involved in avoiding probate.  If you are concerned with avoiding probate, you should consult with a Utah estate planning attorney to discuss other, safer methods of avoiding probate.

Utah Criminal Attorney - 402 ReductionsA joint tenancy is the most common way for married couples to own property in Utah.  Under a joint tenancy, when one spouse dies, the surviving spouse automatically takes ownership of the entire property.  No probate is required when the first spouse dies.  But upon the death of the surviving spouse, a probate action will still be required in order to transfer or sell the property.

Creating a joint tenancy with anyone other than your husband or wife presents potential problems that can outweigh the benefits of avoiding probate.  By taking property owned solely by you and putting it into a joint tenancy, you are giving away part ownership in the property.  Your joint tenant, as a part owner, can sell or mortgage the interest in the property.  The joint tenant may also unintentionally lose the interest in the property in a divorce, lawsuit, or bankruptcy.  Giving away an interest in your property by creating a joint tenancy may also trigger a gift tax.

Holding property in joint tenancy may help you avoid probate, but it does so at the risk of undermining your other estate planning intentions.  Consider the situation of a married couple, each of whom have children from a previous marriage.  The husband may intend to pass his share of the property to his children, and the wife may intend to pass her share of the property to her children.  Suppose that the husband dies first, his children would receive no interest in the property, regardless of what his will might say.  The wife would now be the sole owner of the property.

To learn more about methods of safely avoiding probate in Utah, contact us today to schedule an initial consultation with Utah estate planning attorney Stephen Howard.


Best Rating
Make a Payment to Your Account
Contact a Lawyer
** All fields are required. **
I accept the disclaimer below.
Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is established by the use of this form. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be submitted through this form. By clicking 'submit' I am only requesting that I be contacted for the purpose of obtaining legal services.

This form protected by reCAPTCHA.


Best Rating

Estate Planning Attorney Wills & Trusts Estate Planning - Setting up a good estate plan requires more than filling out a free online form or downloading software. But a good estate plan does not have to be overly expensive. A good attorney can guide you through the process of determining what estate planning tools are right for you and your family, and then create personalized estate planning documents to protect you and your family, and give you the peace of mind you deserve. Contact us today to start the process of setting up a personalized estate plan.

Estate Planning »
Criminal Defense Lawyer UtahCriminal Defense - A criminal conviction can carry serious consequences. If you are facing criminal prosecution in Utah, the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney can give you the best chance of raising a successful defense. Stephen Howard has years of experience successfully defending serious criminal charges ranging from capital murder to DUI. Contact us today to see what the right attorney can do for you.

Criminal Defense »
Utah Family Law Attorney Family Law - The legal issues involved in Utah family law cases are some of the most important and personal issues you may ever face. Whether you are facing divorce, trying to obtain guardianship for a loved one, making plans to adopt, addressing child custody, support, alimony, or other legal matters relating to your family, choosing the right attorney to help you is a critical decision. Contact us to get the help you need.

Family Law »
Injury and Accident Attorney in Utah Accidents & Injuries - An accident can severly affect your ability to work, your ability to care for and support your family. Injuries can leave you with life-long pain and disabilities. If you have been seriously injured or have been in an accident that was not your fault, you need an attorney who can help ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive compensation you are entitled to. Call now for an initial consultation.

Accidents & Injuries »
Home | Utah Legal Resources | Faq | Utah Estate Planning | Utah Criminal Defense | Contact Us

Serving Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Utah, Cache, Tooele, Summit, Box Elder, Morgan, and Wasatch Counties - and all of Utah.


Stephen W. Howard is Utah attorney, practicing as part of the Canyons Law Group, LLC.
With offices in Salt Lake and Davis Counties, we are pleased to provide legal services to clients throughout Utah.
Call 801-449-1409 to arrange for a confidential initial consultation.

Stephen W. Howard, PC

The materials in this website are intended for informational purposes only, and are not legal advice. Viewing or responding to materials or information in this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. Read Full Disclaimer.