What does rights of survivorship on deed mean?


When there are two or more owners on a deed to real estate, they can hold title in different ways.  If they are joint tenants with rights of survivorship, and one of them dies, his or her interest automatically belongs to survivor(s).  If they are tenants in common, and one of them dies, his or her interest will pass according to what his or her will says.


Lynn: My question is on deeds and so forth. With the fact that, what is the thing about right to survivorship? If I put my son on my deed, to my house, does it still circumvent the probate?

Attorney Tom Olsen: Okay Lynn, I understand. So Lynn, in Florida, when you have a deed that has two or more names on as owners, after those names you have these words, “joint tenants’ rights of survivorship”. It means that if any one of the passes away, their share automatically belongs to the survivors. So if you own a house together with your son as joint tenants’ rights of survivorship, it will automatically pass to you or to him upon your death. Now, Lynn, is this the home that you live in?

Lynn: Yes, it is.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Lynn, I do not suggest that you add his name to your deed and I can give you all kinds of great reasons. But the greatest reason that I want to give you is that there is a much better tool for you and it is called an enhanced life estate deed. This enhanced life estate deed is a great tool to avoid probate on your home and it gives you all of the protection that you won't have if you simply add his name to the deed. You want a booklet or a video on that, Lynn, you can call or text Chrissy, anytime, 407-808-8398. Again, if you want a booklet or a video on enhanced life estate deeds, a tool to avoid probate on your home, you call or text Chrissy, 407-808-8398.

Lynn: All right. I have one more question

Attorney Tom Olsen: Okay go ahead.

Lynn: It's a quick one. What about all the bank accounts and all of the --

Attorney Tom Olsen: So Lynn, on your bank accounts, I do not want you to add your son's name to your bank accounts, what I do want you to do is to go down to your bank and say, "Look, keep this account in my name only, but make it POD, payable on death, to my son, TOD, Transfer on death, to my son.” If you will do that at your bank, Lynn, and you pass away, your son can simply go down to the bank, show them your death certificate and they'll turn the money over to him.