How to Hold Title

Please see the most common ways to hold title.

Sole Ownership

  1. A Single Man/Woman (a person who has never been married)
  2. An Unmarried Man/Woman (a previously married person)
  3. A Married Man/Woman – As Sole & Separate Property

 

Co-Ownership (Acquiring Property With Another Person)

  1. Joint Tenants
  2. Joint Tenants with Full Rights of Survivorship 
  3. Tenants in Common

Explanation

Joint Tenants

When individuals who hold title together as “joint tenants” die, their interest automatically passes on to the remaining title holder(s). Men holding title together as “joint tenants” do not need to have their wives sign the deed when they sell the property. The individuals can sell their interest to another party, who would then hold title as a “tenant in common” with the remaining title holders.

Tenants in Common

When individuals hold title together as “tenants in common”, they each own an undivided interest in subject property. The individuals can sell their portion to another party, who would then hold title as a “tenant in common” with the remaining title holders. When a person who holds title as a “tenant in common” dies, his/her undivided interest passes on to their estate. Men holding title as “tenants in common” must have their wives sign the deed when they sell their interest and/or the property.

Joint Tenants with Full Rights of Survivorship

When individuals who hold title together as “joint tenants with full rights of survivorship” die, their interest automatically passes on to the remaining title holder(s). Men holding title together as “joint tenants with full rights of survivorship” do not need to have their wives sign the deed when they sell the property. The individuals cannot sell their interest to another party. Everyone holding title together as “joint tenants with full rights of survivorship” must all sell the property together, as if they were 1 person.

Disclaimer

Please be aware that I am not an attorney and the information in this article should not be interpreted as legal advice. Every state has different laws and every real estate transaction has unique variables that can affect these standard documents listed above. Before you act on anything described above, be sure to consult with an attorney or legal professional in your area.