The best way to hold title to real estate

Choosing between joint tenancy and living trust

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DEAR BOB: Although we are not in the market to buy or sell a home, we look forward to your articles because you often discuss home ownership. As we are ages 56 and 58, we are anticipating retirement in a few years. My question is about the best way to hold title to our home. We hold title as joint tenants with right of survivorship. But you recently got us worried about what if we both die at the same time, such as in a plane crash. Neither of us has a written will. We have two adult children who are our heirs. As we take four or five air trips together each year, what would happen to our house and two rental houses if we die at the same time? – Vivian R. DEAR VIVIAN: As you probably know, when a joint-tenant real estate owner dies, the surviving joint tenant automatically receives title without probate. In most states, all that is required is for the surviving joint tenant to record a certified copy of the death certificate and an affidavit of survivorship with the county recor...