Sometimes it makes sense for more than one person to own a property. Spouses or other romantic partners might want to share in home ownership. Or maybe someone who already owns a home may want to add their child or other family member to the deed. This post will briefly discuss the three options for joint land ownership in Washington, D.C., Virginia and Michigan.
Tenancy in Common
Here, more than one owner can own an undivided share in the property separate from the other owner. You can pass your interest in your will, and the shares can be any percentage you like (50-50, 80-20, etc).
A joint tenancy is like a tenancy in common, with the major difference that it features a right of survivorship. What that means is that if two people own a home, and one of the owners passes away, the other owner automatically receives the other’s share and then owns the entire home. Creating a joint tenancy requires all tenants to take the property at the same time, in the same instrument, with the same rights as one another. If one joint owner transfers his interest to an outside party, the joint tenancy is destroyed and it becomes a tenancy in common. Joint owners may ask the court to order the sale of the property at any time, even if the other side does not want to sell.
Tenancy by the Entireties
This ownership option is for a husband and wife only (or same-sex partners in D.C.). It is basically a joint tenancy for when the only two owners are married to one another. A tenant by the entireties cannot transfer his or her interest while married. The only way to destroy it is if one person dies, or there is a divorce.
This was only a summary of all the options. Please consult with an attorney to determine which option is right for you and your family.
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