Monday, June 24, 2013

Joint Tenants with Rights of Survivorship vs. Tenants in Common

There’s a common saying that it’s the little things that make the biggest difference. That is clearly illustrated in this discussion of “tenants in common” and “joint tenants with rights of survivorship.”

What are tenants in common (TIC) and joint tenants with rights of survivorship (JTWROS), and when do they apply?

When two or more people own a property or asset, such as a stock, each individual owns a share (or interest) of the whole, either as joint tenants or tenants in common. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Insurance Company Ratings

Lately, it seems that the headlines are filled with natural disasters – tornadoes in the Midwest, wildfires in the West and hurricanes in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic are some of the most recent examples. We’ll leave the debate as to whether these events are happening in increasing frequency to others, but one fact that is not debatable is the destruction that these disasters leave behind. The aftermath can be devastating and, as always, our thoughts and prayers go out to those impacted.

From a financial planning perspective, we often hear a common question posed in light of these events: Is the insurance industry financially sound? The simple answer is yes. Overall, the insurance industry is on solid financial ground and has survived wars and conflicts, natural disasters and financial crises (including the Great Depression and the Great Recession). In an article from 2011 discussing the possible impact of a US Treasury ratings downgrade, the Insurance Information Institute stated insurance companies could not only meet their obligations, but had a cushion of $500 billion, sufficient to cover 12 Hurricane Katrinas – the costliest natural disaster in US history1.