Estate Planning in Virginia

In many states, Virginia included, the process of probate can be time consuming and stressful for a grieving family. Instead of being able to smoothly inherit a family home or other property they must spend months, or years, waiting for disinterested third parties to settle a case. During that time they are constantly in limbo never knowing whether or not they will be forced to sell the property they are hoping to inherit to pay for unforeseen estate expenses or unsettled debts. Rather than put your family through that stressful scenario, explore Tenancy in Common as a way to pass on real estate property to heirs.

Understanding Tenancy in Common

Several states currently allow “tenancy in common” as a method of sharing the ownership of a property. Tenancy in common will allow individuals in Virginia to have an undivided interest in a property. The portions of the property owned can vary in size and in the past were popular with individuals purchasing a condo style home as a group. Now, tenancy in common is becoming a way for families to ensure the stability of there family when estate planning in Virginia.

Benefits of Owning Property through Tenancy in Common

Using tenancy in common from a strictly real estate perspective gives individuals a chance to qualify for a larger property than they might have managed on their own. When it comes to estate planning tenancy in common gives a parent or individual a chance to leave their heir, or heirs, a property without having to specify how much of the property each person gets. This feature alone makes tenancy in common attractive when leaving property to large families. It allows the deceased to name heirs without forcing them to make a decision that might, in the future, be inequitable.

What can Be Done with Tenancy in Common Property?

The reason many estate planners in Virginia shy away from Tenancy in Common is that they are not sure what can be done with the property once it is inherited. They are afraid that the family might be put in an awkward position if one individual wants to sell the property but the others.

One of the benefits of tenancy in common property is that an ownership interest can be sold, given, or left to another heir in the same manner that they would an individually owned property. If there is a joint tenancy option or clause then property will go to the survivors of the original estate.

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