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Survivorship and your will

Survivorship: How It Could Affect You

As married couples grow older, one partner will inevitably outlive the other. The surviving partner is left with grief and emotional pain. Also, they are left with the potential for complicated legal situations that survivorship can create. This article will walk you through what survivorship could mean for you. What you should do to prepare yourself and your spouse for the future with the assistance of My Family Documents.

What Is Survivorship?

Survivorship is a legal term. It refers to what happens to two people’s joint ownership of a property after one partner passes away. It is important to understand what survivorship means.

There is an important distinction to make between two different types of ownership. Joint tenants are owners who equally share the property. Meaning that when one partner dies, the other immediately assumes full ownership of it. This agreement overrides anything left behind in a will or other document. In other words, the surviving partner is entitled to the property’s survivorship rights. True even if the deceased partner expressed different wishes in their will.

Meanwhile, tenants in common are property owners who possess unequal shares in the property. Instead of a 50-50 split, tenants in common can legally own different, uneven shares of the property. Most importantly, if one partner dies, the surviving partner is not entitled to survivorship rights. This means that when one partner dies, the other does not automatically own the property. Joint tenants would alleviate this. Tenants in common can leave their share of the property to someone in their will or sell it; the other partner has no claim to survivorship.

Storing Personal Documents and Passwords for Your Spouse

Storing personal documents

Be sure to verify under which conditions you and your spouse share your property. What happens to your property after one dies depends on how you initially set up your ownership of it. If a couple does not specifically request and sign a contract agreeing to become joint tenants, they are by default tenants in common. It is important that you and your spouse are aware of what will happen to your property.

If you own your property as tenants in common, you and legal authorities will need to refer to your spouse’s will to decide how to handle their share of the property. If you are joint tenants, you will also want to be able to quickly access the relevant legal agreements and documents so that the property can smoothly become yours by right of survivorship.

Finding and understanding what these documents mean is critical for you and your spouse. If you and your spouse are joint tenants, then your spouse’s right of survivorship will outweigh whatever wishes you may have included in your will. You don’t want to leave your spouse and other loved ones in a confusing situation. For example, some of your final wishes may be overridden by survivorship rights.

Your Spouse’s Will

Although it may be painful for you and your spouse to think about, your spouse should be prepared in case your time comes first. They will need to handle important legal and financial business after your death. Amid the grief and turmoil of having recently lost a beloved spouse, the last thing you want to do is leave your spouse with the chaos of disorganized personal documents.

This means that you should be taking steps now to prepare your spouse for a possible future without you. Start locating important documents that will be relevant for your spouse after you die. These can be legal documents related to your shared property. But, they can also extend to your will, financial statements, insurance policies, investment portfolios, and account passwords.

Without easy access to all these documents and information, your spouse will have a much harder time taking care of essential business following your death. You want your spouse to have the reassurance that everything they need is organized and easy to find during an already emotional, grief-filled time.


How My Family Documents Can Help

Fortunately, you don’t have to organize all your documents without help. My Family Documents offers a tool to help you organize and safely store your important personal information, documents, and passwords. Instead of stowing away important financial statements, legal agreements, and account passwords in different parts of the house where they can be easily lost, My Family Documents provides a USB flash drive already set up with easy-to-use software that will help you identify and organize your information.

Peace of mind for you and your spouse is one of the best results of My Family Documents. You don’t want to complicate an already difficult situation for your spouse. With My Family Documents, you have a secure, user-friendly way to sort and store your most critical information. The flash drive is designed to help easily keep track of your important information with clearly labeled folders and subfolders. This means that both you and your spouse can be relieved that everything you need is one secure place.

My Family Documents Benefits

With My Family Documents, you make a one-time payment and then always have access to your information whenever you need it, unlike other web-based options that charge steep annual fees to maintain access. You also don’t have to worry about your information being the target of hackers or other cyber criminals because all your documents are encrypted and stored in a physical flash drive that you can always keep in a safe location.

It can be challenging and even emotional to plan for the future, but it’s important that you and your spouse are on the same page regarding your property and what might happen to it. Survivorship and its legal consequences should be an essential part of your discussions about end of life plans. You want your spouse to be prepared and reassured. If something happens to you, they will be able to take care of vital legal and financial business. Start getting organized for your spouse now.

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