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Joint Ownership of Property - What are the Different Types of Co-ownership

Updated on December 9, 2011

There are a few different forms of joint ownership that people can consider. Basically you are buying a home with another person, and you are owning half of it with another person. When people buy a home with someone else, the wording in the deed is what determines the finer details of each persons ownership of that home. Not only that, the deed also spells out each person's part in legal rights, and what happens to the property should one of the owners die.

Different States can vary in how they handle joint ownership, but generally speaking there are three types of joint ownership out there. The three main forms are Tenancy in Common, Joint Tenancy with the Right of Survivorship, and Tenancy by the Entirety.

Husbands and wives have been known to do a joint ownership when they buy a home. They own the property together anyway, and they see some benefit there for their situation. Some look at it as a way to skip or avoid probate, which is totally understandable.

Different Types of Joint Ownership

1. Joint Tenancy with the Right of Survivorship This is fairly cut and dry, and this form is what most people think of when joint tenancy. The surviving owner automatically becomes the complete owner when the other person dies.

2. Tenancy In Common This form of joint ownership is one where each owner has the right to leave his or her share to their family, or heirs. Its giving that portion to anyone they have chosen, and it does not automatically go to the survivor. Many that co own businesses together opt for this version of joint ownership over the first one. You can certainly appreciate that they want it to go to their children or other loved ones. If the owners have unequal shares, then the tenancy in common is usually the one they choose.

3. Tenancy by the Entirety This version of joint ownership is a special form of joint ownership for married couples. In this case, any owner has the right to force a division or a sale of the property.

*Whenever there is more than one owner, it is wise to check with an attorney or the title company to ask any questions you may have. You want to make sure the deed clearly states the desired form of ownership.

Has anyone in your family ever done a joint ownership?

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    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Thank you, PhoenixV. :)

    • PhoenixV profile image

      PhoenixV 6 years ago from USA

      Excellent information thanks! Voted Up!