RIGHTS OF SURVIVORSHIP. (February 21, 2020)

Have you ever wondered what would happen to your home or any other real property that you are on title with another as joint tenant(s) and one of those tenants dies?  It is sometimes hard or inconceivable that something may happen to us or our loved ones, and hopefully nothing does. But the most significant way to protect yourself and your loved ones is to be well-prepared.

When a single property is owned by two or more people as joint tenants, they are afforded the right of survivorship. It is this right that protects multiple owners of a single property. However, this right of survivorship is not protected until you choose to enforce it. Often, one does not know or understand this right until legal situations force them to recognize the situation.

The right of survivorship allows title of land to automatically pass from the deceased to all surviving joint tenant(s). As such, all property owned in joint tenancy cannot be left to a beneficiary in a Will, regardless of what is written in the said Will, unless that person is the last surviving joint tenant. In order to protect oneself, it is necessary to have a “Survivorship Application” registered to formally delete the name of the deceased joint tenant from title and to show the surviving joint tenant(s) as the owner(s) of the property.

If left undone, it creates a lengthy process that is both cumbersome and expensive. The home and/or any other property owned in joint tenancy cannot be sold, mortgaged or otherwise be dealt with until the survivorship application is done. With the right legal professional by your side, such as your lawyer, you can transition through this process more smoothly and with less worries on your part wondering if everything has been done correctly.

With the assistance of a lawyer, you can prepare and register the survivorship application. You should provide your lawyer with a copy of your deed and an original death certificate for the deceased. If you do not have the original death certificate, it can be obtained from the funeral home. At times like these, it is best to have someone knowledgeable and experienced with survivorship applications to guide you.

At Empel Law, our experienced and knowledgeable staff can assist you with not only preparing and registering the survivorship application, but aid you with what steps to take next, such as updating municipal tax records and more. Give us a call today to get started. We can be reached at any time at 416.479.8531.