Helping You Understand the Different Types Of Property Ownership
September 27, 2017 | Heather Griesser LaPierre
Last month we looked at the different types of Deed. If you missed it you can view it here.  When the Deed is transferred over to you as the new owner, you decide how you are going to hold Title. There are a few options which we go through below.

Sole Ownership
This is where you own the property on your own. The property will not transfer to your spouse on death automatically but will need to go through probate and the wishes set out in your will.

Joint Tenancy with Rights of Survivorship
This is the most common way that married couples or partners hold Title. Each party owns the property equally and undivided. If one party wishes to transfer his/her share to someone else during his/her lifetime, the other owner must consent and sign the resulting Deed. The rights of survivorship imply that upon the death of one owner, his/her share is transferred automatically to the surviving owner. The survivorship rights take precedence over the deceased's will or inheritance rules.

Joint Tenancy with Survivorship is not limited to married couples. The Title to a property can be held equally by two more persons. For example, sometimes siblings may purchase the family home and this type of title means that one can’t sell his/her share without the consent of the other co-owners.

Tenants in Common
Unlike Joint Tenancy with Rights of Survivorship, two or more owners can own equal or unequal shares of the same property. For example, two owners can hold equal shares, or multiple owners can own different percentages that equal 100.

Unlike Joint Tenancy with Rights of Survivorship, the share in ownership is separate from one another. This means that one owner can transfer his/her share to someone else at any point in time without the consent of the other owners. If an owner dies, his/her share in the property is passed along to the person named in his/her will or to their surviving heirs if no will exists.

Tenants by the Entirety
Not as common, Tenants by the Entirety is joint property ownership only allowed between a husband and wife. As with Joint Tenancy with Rights of Survivorship, neither party can sell or transfer their ownership without consent from the other person. Upon death, the property passes to the surviving spouse, even if the will lists a different heir.

When the property is owned this way, the property cannot be seized to pay off debts created by either party. This protects the innocent spouse from losing their property through no fault of their own.


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