Survivorship Agreement Texas Statute: What You Need to Know
A survivorship agreement, also known as joint tenancy with right of survivorship (JTWROS), is a popular estate planning tool used by many couples and business partners in Texas. This agreement allows two or more individuals to jointly own property, with the right of survivorship passing on to the surviving owner(s) upon the death of one of the parties involved.
Texas law recognizes survivorship agreements, and they are governed by specific statutes outlined in the Texas Property Code. Here`s what you need to know about survivorship agreements in Texas:
Requirements for A Valid Survivorship Agreement
To be considered a valid survivorship agreement in Texas, the following requirements must be met:
1. The agreement must be in writing and signed by all parties involved.
2. The agreement must clearly state that the property involved is owned jointly with right of survivorship.
3. The agreement must specify the percentage of ownership for each party.
4. The agreement must be recorded with the county clerk in the county where the property is located.
Benefits of A Survivorship Agreement
There are several benefits of having a survivorship agreement in Texas, including:
1. Avoiding probate. When one owner passes away, the other owner(s) automatically inherits the property without going through probate.
2. Protection against creditor claims. A survivorship agreement helps protect jointly owned property from creditor claims against the deceased owner`s estate.
3. Cost-effective estate planning. Survivorship agreements are relatively simple and cost-effective to create compared to other estate planning tools.
4. Privacy. Survivorship agreements do not require court filings, so the details of the agreement remain private.
Potential Downsides of A Survivorship Agreement
While survivorship agreements have numerous benefits, there are also potential downsides that need to be considered before entering into an agreement:
1. Loss of control. Once the survivorship agreement is established, each owner must agree before making any changes to the property.
2. No protection against incapacity. A survivorship agreement only takes effect upon the death of one of the owners, so it provides no protection in the event of incapacity or disability.
3. Renunciation. Unless the agreement specifically prohibits it, a surviving owner may renounce their right to survivorship within six months after the date of death of the other owner(s).
A survivorship agreement is an effective estate planning tool that can help individuals and business partners pass on their property without having to go through probate. It`s important to understand the specific requirements and potential downsides of a survivorship agreement before entering into one. Consulting with a qualified attorney can ensure that your interests are protected and your survivorship agreement complies with the Texas Property Code.