Flaw uncovered in real estate titleholding method

What happens if joint-tenant owners die at the same time?

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DEAR BOB: My wife and I hold title to our home as joint tenants with right of survivorship. We understand that the survivor will own the house after one of us dies. But what if we both die at the same time, such as in a plane or auto crash? --John M. DEAR JOHN: You ask an extremely important question. As you correctly explain, when one joint tenant dies, the survivor owns the entire property. The deceased's will has no effect on real estate held in joint tenancy with right of survivorship. However, if both joint tenants die at the same time, or about the same time, complications can develop. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. To illustrate, a few years ago a Berkeley, Calif., couple was out for a walk one evening when they were both shot in a drive-by shooting. The woman died shortly thereafter in a hospital, but the man was kept on life support for several hours because he was a potential organ donor. The result was the woman's share of the joint tenancy property went to the man by ...