Increasingly with our online world, our clients are taking advantage of opening up online stock trading accounts. Wishing to save the fees charged by normal investment and brokerage houses, parties are taking advantage of offers of almost minimal commissions offered by companies such as Questrade.
It is crucial that when couples open up such an account they appreciate the difference between joint tenancy and tenants-in-common. We link our blog article on that subject here as it bears careful reading. Joint Tenancy vs. Tenants-In-Common There is a vast difference and the failure to appreciate those differences can have very expensive consequences.
In one particular case, a husband and wife opened up an online account with no human interaction. After the death of one, they learned that the account had been opened in tenants-in-common rather than joint tenancy as they had wished. The net effect was that the surviving spouse needed to apply for probate and pay the significant legal fees and estate administration taxes that were thusly triggered.