Making a will is an important part of personal finance. It ensures that your assets are distributed in the way you want after you die. However, there are other options available to you, and one of those is the right of survivorship.
This article will compare wills and the right of survivorship, looking at the advantages and disadvantages of each option.
Right of Survivorship Vs Will Table of Contents
What is a Right of Survivorship?
A right of survivorship is a legal right that allows certain property owners to inherit the property of another owner upon their death. This type of arrangement is often used in relationships where there is a high degree of trust, such as between family members or close friends.
What is a Will?
A will is a legal document that dictates what happens to your possessions and property after you die.
You can use a will to appoint an executor, who will be responsible for carrying out your wishes. You can also use a will to leave specific instructions for how you would like your assets to be distributed.
What is The Difference Between a Right of Survivorship and a Will?
A right of survivorship is a legal right that gives one person the ability to inherit another person's property upon their death.
A will, on the other hand, is a legal document that outlines how a person's property should be distributed after they die. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, which we will explore in this guide.
Rights of survivorship can be a great option for couples or families who want to ensure that their property goes to the person they intend it to. It also eliminates the need for probate, which can be a lengthy and costly process. The downside of a right of survivorship is that it can be difficult to change or revoke once it has been established.
Wills, on the other hand, offer more flexibility and can be changed at any time. They also allow you to appoint a executor, who will be responsible for carrying out your wishes. The downside of a will is that it must go through probate, which can be a lengthy and costly process.
What Are The Different Types of Right of Survivorship?
There are three different types of right of survivorship:
- Joint Tenancy
- Community Property
- Tenancy By The Entirety
Joint tenancy is the most common type of right of survivorship and exists when two or more people own an undivided interest in property.
Community property is another type of right of survivorship that exists between spouses in some states.
Tenancy by the entirety is a type of right of survivorship that exists between married couples in some states.
What Are The Different Types of Will?
There are two main types of will:
A testamentary will is one that is only executed after your death, whereas a living will is one that can be changed or revoked at any time.
What Are The Advantages of a Right of Survivorship?
There are several advantages to having a right of survivorship when it comes to your personal finances. One of the biggest advantages is that it avoids probate. Probate can be a long and expensive process, so avoiding it can save you a lot of money and hassle.
Another advantage of a right of survivorship is that it gives you more control over your assets. With a will, your assets will be distributed according to the terms of the will, which may not be what you want. With a right of survivorship, you can specify exactly who gets what and when they get it.
Finally, a right of survivorship can provide peace of mind in knowing that your assets will go to the people you want them to go to, without any delays or complications.
What Are The Advantages of a Will?
There are several advantages to having a will, even if you have a small estate.
First, it allows you to choose who will receive your property when you die. This can be important if you want to make sure that your loved ones are provided for after your death.
Second, a will can help to avoid probate. Probate is a court-supervised process for distributing your property after you die. If you have a will, your property can be distributed according to your wishes without going through probate.
Finally, a will gives you the opportunity to name a guardian for your minor children in the event of your death.
What Are The Disadvantages of Right of Survivorship?
The main disadvantage of right of survivorship is that it can't be changed once it's been set up. This means that if your circumstances change, you may not be able to change your right of survivorship agreement.
Another disadvantage is that right of survivorship can complicate things if you want to leave your property to someone other than your surviving spouse or partner. For example, if you want to leave your property to your children, you would need to set up a separate trust.
Finally, right of survivorship can be expensive to set up, especially if you need to hire a lawyer.
What Are The Disadvantages of Will?
The main disadvantage of a will is that it can be contested. If someone doesn't agree with the way you've distributed your assets, they can take legal action to try and change it. This can be a long, complicated, and expensive process.
Another downside to a will is that it's not always up-to-date. If you don't keep it current, it may not accurately reflect your wishes. This can cause problems if you've made major life changes (like getting married or having children) and haven't updated your will accordingly.
Finally, a will only comes into effect after you die. This means that if you become incapacitated, your will can't be used to help you.
So, Which One Should You Use?
The answer to this question depends on your personal circumstances. If you're married or in a long-term relationship, then right of survivorship is probably the best option for you. This is because it ensures that your partner will inherit your property if you die.
Will, on the other hand, is better suited for people who are not in a long-term relationship. This is because you can specify exactly who you want to inherit your property.
What Are Some Alternatives to Using a Right of Survivorship or a Will?
Some people may feel that using a right of survivorship or a will is not the best option for them. If this is the case, there are a few alternatives that can be considered.
One alternative is to create a trust. This can be done with the help of an attorney and can provide more control over what happens to your assets after you die.
Another option is to designate a beneficiary for your assets. This can be done with bank accounts, retirement accounts, and life insurance policies.
If you have minor children, another alternative is to set up a guardianship arrangement. This will ensure that your children are taken care of by the person or persons you choose if something happens to you.
What Are Some Tips For Using a Right of Survivorship?
When you're ready to add a right of survivorship to your property, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, make sure that all owners listed on the title are willing and able to sign the necessary paperwork. You'll also need to decide how you want the ownership structure to be set up - joint tenants with equal rights, or tenants in common with unequal rights.
Finally, consult with an experienced real estate attorney to ensure that everything is done correctly and that your rights are fully protected.
What Are Some Tips For Using a Will?
Some tips for using a will are to make sure that it is properly signed and witnessed, that all of your assets are accounted for, and that you have named an executor. You should also keep your will in a safe place where it can be easily found.