Types of Legal Title

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TENANCY IN COMMON

An undivided ownership in real property by two or more persons. The interest need not be equal, and, in the event of the death of one (or more) of the owners (co-tenants), no right of survivorship in the other owners exist and the interest of deceased co-tenants passes to his or her heirs.

JOINT TENANCY WITH FULL RIGHTS OF SURVIVORSHIP

An undivided interest in real estate property, taken by two or more joint tenants. The interests must be equal, occurring under the same conveyance, and beginning at the same time. Upon the death of a joint tenant, the interest passes to the surviving joint tenant(s), rather than to the heirs of the deceased joint tenant.

TENANCY BY THE ENTIRETY (OR A MARRIED COUPLE)

A form of ownership exclusively reserved for a married couple. As tenants by the entirety, a married couple owns all interest in the real estate and this tenancy can only be terminated by the death of one of the tenants, the dissolution of the marriage of the tenants or a conveyance of the interest in the property. Neither spouse, acting alone, can convey or encumber to a third person an interest in property held as tenants by the entirety. In the event of the death of one of the spouses, the survivor owns the property. In the event of dissolution of the marriage, the former spouses hold the property as tenants in common (unless the judgment of divorce provided otherwise).

Tip: Depending how title is held could have an impact on whether a judgment or other lien will attach. For example, a judgment against a person who holds title as a tenant in common or as a joint tenant will attach to the real estate. A judgment against a spouse only and title is held as tenants by the entireties will not attach. A Federal Tax Lien against one spouse, though, will attach to the property even if title is held as tenants by the entireties.

*The information contained in this flyer is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.

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