The Different Ways to Own Real Estate With Other People

Are you aware of the various ways real estate can be owned?

Tenancy in Common (TIC)

In a TIC, each owner has a percentage interest in the property, which does not have to be an equal interest. For instance, one person may own 60%, another with 30% ,and a third at 10%. As a TIC owner, you are free to transfer or leave your percentage interest in your will to whomever you wish. When you do pass away, your interest goes to your named heir or, if you left no will, the State Statutes will determine inherited ownership interest.  Any of the owners can request the court to partition the property into separately owned parcels if disputes arise.

Joint Tenancy (JTWROS)

With this type of ownership, Joint Tenants with Rights of Survivorship [JTWROS} each of the owners have joint equal ownership interest.  When one owner dies, his or her interest automatically transfers to the surviving owner without the need for probate. It is important that the joint tenancy is explicitly stated in the deed.  If it is not specifically stated then the default is TIC.

If the JTWROS owners die simultaneously, the property converts to a TIC. And when the last remaining owner passes away, (even if by one minute) it transfers to his or her heirs.

You cannot transfer your interest in a joint tenancy in a will to anyone since the Deed takes precedence by the recorded deed, and your interest passes to the surviving owners.  A debtor may be able to force the sale and partition of the property to collect on a debt even if only one owner is the debtor.  This is why a Declaration of Homestead should be elected by all owners of real estate residing in the property.  Owners can also ask the court to partition the property into separately owned sections as they can in a TIC.

Tenancy by the Entirety (TBE)

Only married couples may hold this type of real estate interest. The property cannot be sold or mortgaged without the consent of both spouses. When one spouse passes away, it will transfer automatically to the surviving spouse without the need of probate. Massachusetts law protects a tenancy by the entirety from being sold to pay off a debt or partitioned into individually owned sections without the consent of both spouses.

If a creditor does place a lien on the property, it can ONLY collect when and if the property is sold. If the debtor spouse dies and the property goes to the surviving spouse, the creditor will not be able to collect, and the debt is extinguished.

A TBE can only be terminated by death, divorce, or by the parties’ agreeing to convert the property to a TIC or JTWROS.

Consult Real Estate Lawyer Patricia Bloom-McDonald

Whether you are buying or selling real estate, having an attorney to advise you on the transaction can prevent costly mistakes in the future. How you create or obtain an interest in real estate is equally important. Consult real estate lawyer Patricia Bloom-McDonald about all your real estate concerns to ensure that any transaction is performed with full knowledge of your legal rights and options.

Why Making Funeral and Burial Plans Now Should Be a Priority

Just thinking about your death or the death of a loved one can be enough to tug at your heartstrings. As such, the topic of death is one that most people try to maintain a safe distance from. While thinking about death, and what you want in regards to your funeral and burial services, may be difficult to do, these things are important; creating a plan now can alleviate pressure for your loved ones and ensure that your wishes are adhered to. Here are some of the top reasons why you should meet with a lawyer and create a funeral and burial plan today–

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Green Funeral

A very large percentage of Americans have a funeral followed by an in-ground burial when they die. Approximately 43.5 percent of Americans choose burial as their preferred method for what happens to their body after death.

As more information about environmental effects of burials is unearthed, some Americans who are choosing to be buried are choosing to go green with the process. Often called a green funeral or green burial, here’s a look into what you need to know about how you can make your end-of-life plans more eco-conscious– it aids in the conservation of natural resources, reduction of carbon emissions, protection of worker health, and the restoration and/or preservation of habitat.

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An Important Element of Your Estate Plan: Updating Beneficiary Designations

Having an estate plan is one of the most essential parts of planning for your future and the future of your family. However, all too often, well-intending people create an estate plan, yet as circumstances in their life change over the course of time, they forget to update their beneficiary designations. This can be a big issue, because in the event that something happens unexpectedly, beneficiary designations can trump personal wishes as well as the “assumed” course of designation, such as a spouse automatically being named as the beneficiary.

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Caregiver Contracts in Massachusetts – What You Need to Know

Finding a caregiver for your loved one can be challenging, whether you’re looking for a caregiver for your parent, grandparent, or another cherished family member. As such, some truly dedicated people may choose to provide care for their loved one themselves rather than hire home help or entrust their loved one to a nursing home. For these individuals, understanding the benefits of caregiver contracts in Massachusetts is essential. Here’s what you need to know:

What Is a Caregiver Contract?

A caregiver contract, also called a personal care contract, is a contract between the loved one for whom care is being provided and the party who is providing the care. Essentially, the contract outlines the caregiving services that the caregiver will provide, and the rate at which the caregiver will be compensated for their services.

What is Covered in a Caregiver Contract?

A caregiver contract is a legal document that addresses compensation for services rendered. Typically, provisions that are covered in a caregiver contract include:

  • The type and duration of caregiving services that will be rendered to the loved one; and
  • Compensation that will be paid to the caregiver, based on reasonable market value for said services.

The contract may also include a statement explaining that the care is intended to keep the loved one person out of a nursing home until a care giver is unable to perform the caregiving duties any longer. It is critical that the contract is in writing and is signed by both parties, at the time the caregiving commences. It is also recommended that the contract is crafted by a lawyer.

Why Do I Need a Caregiver Contract?

You may be thinking, “Why do I need a caregiver contract? I’m happy to care for my loved one without compensation!”

While you may be more than willing to offer your parent or other loved one caregiver services without compensation, the way that the law in Massachusetts is structured makes forming a caregiver contract advantageous for financial purposes if your loved one would likely gift you the money regardless. This is because without a written contract, the loved one may be disqualified from Medicaid coverage, a/k/a MassHealth. if they require nursing home care in the future due to MassHealth’s strict asset transfer rules. When the money is paid to the caregiver as a form of compensation for services rendered, however, the money is not considered a gift, and therefore may not affect eligibility. By making payments to the caregiver, the loved one can deplete their assets by passing them along to the care giver without affecting eligibility for MassHealth benefits.

Contact Elder Care Lawyer Patricia Bloom-McDonald, Today

If you have questions about the benefits of elder care contracts and how to create one that protects you and your loved one, you need to consult with an elder law Attorney. At the law offices of Patricia Bloom-McDonald, Massachusetts elder law lawyer Patricia Bloom-McDonald has years of experience representing clients and knows how to protect your best interests. For a consultation, call her today or send her a message at your convenience.