Is a joint tenancy considered an estate? If one of the names on the title is deceased?

My father recently passed away. We are joint tenants on the condo and have been for quite sometime. I am not sure the laws in my state but is joint tenancy considered part of the estate and, if so, does this mean I have to pay his credit card bills? The condo will not be sold and is being lived in.

Asked on May 31, 2012 under Estate Planning, Nevada

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  You need to look at the deed to the condo.  Does it state onlt "Joint Tenants" or does it say "Joint Tenants with Rights of Survivorship?"  Those last words  - rights of survivorship - are what is needed to have the proeprty pass from your father to you automatically by "operation of law."   Otherwise his half pases through his estate.  Now, generally speaking, the credit card bills are not your problem unless you were on the original applications or possibiy if your state requires that children pay for the necessities of the parents (there is an argument that credit card bills are not necessities).  His estate is responsible for the bills.  I would go and speak with some one in your area about all of this so that they can look at the documents in hand and let you know.  Good luck.


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