Disclaimer: Please note that the following information is intended to provide a general overview of the different methods in which title can be held in real estate and should not be construed as legal advice. If you require further assistance or have any specific questions, please do not hesitate to contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deed Vesting Types
Sole ownership refers to when one person or entity owns a property entirely, which can be a person, an LLC, or an Estate. In this scenario, the owner possesses 100% of the property, except for any liens on the property. However, sole ownership can be held in various ways, depending on the individual's marital status. For example, if the owner is unmarried, they can hold sole title as an unmarried man or woman, or as a single man or woman. The terms single and unmarried are often used interchangeably, but some title company personnel argue that unmarried means previously married, while single means never married. This interpretation is not supported by any documentation, but it is worth noting that it can cause confusion in certain situations.
In some states, a person may have sole and separate property even if they are married. This means that they hold the title to the property in their name only, and their spouse does not have any claim to it. The laws regarding separate property vary between states, with some being community property states and others not. There are several ways in which a person may acquire sole and separate property, even if they are married. These include owning the property before getting married, purchasing it with separately owned money, or inheriting it as sole and separate property. Additionally, a prenuptial agreement can identify separate property and prevent it from becoming community property. If you are single, no further research is necessary. However, if you are married and trying to keep title separate, it is advisable to consult an attorney who has expertise on state laws for the state you reside in. This will ensure that you are fully informed of your rights and obligations.
In community property states, another form of title vesting is community property. This type of joint ownership is reserved for marital assets and is shared equally between the spouses. Any property purchased using marital funds during the course of the marriage is considered community property. In some cases, separate property can become mingled with community property, inadvertently converting it to community property as well. The following states are considered community property states: Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Joint Tenancy and Joint Tenants with Rights of Survivorship:
Joint tenancy refers to when multiple parties seek to have an undivided ownership stake in real estate. Typically used for marital assets in non-community property states, joint tenancy can also be utilized in community property states. It is important to note that joint tenancy is not limited to married couples, as any two or more parties can become joint tenants in a single property. Additionally, joint tenancy typically includes the right of survivorship, which means that if one joint tenant passes away, their share of the property transfers to the other joint tenants. However, it's important to research local laws as they vary by state, to determine if joint tenancy with right of survivorship is the best fit for your needs.
Tenants in Common:
Tenants in Common refers to ownership where multiple individuals or entities own a percentage of the property. Unlike joint tenancy, there are no rights of survivorship, meaning that when one tenant in common passes away, their share of the property is passed on to their heirs, whether through a will, trust, or intestate succession. This type of ownership is particularly useful for investment partners who are not married, as it allows them to own a percentage of the property without having to transfer their interest to the other co-owners. Additionally, tenants in common can own unequal shares of the property, unlike community property or joint tenancy where each owner's interest must be equal.
Tenancy by the Entirety
Tenancy by the Entirety is similar to joint tenancy between husband and wife. The key difference is that each spouse owns the entire property, rather than just half. This means that neither spouse can sell any portion of the property without the consent of the other. One major benefit of this form of title vesting is that if a creditor is owed money by only one of the owners, they cannot collect against the property unless the spouse who does not owe the creditor passes away. In this case, the surviving spouse becomes the sole owner of the entire property without the need for probate. However, if one spouse becomes unavailable or incompetent, it can be challenging for the other spouse to sell the property under this type of ownership.