What happens to property that is shared by joint tenants if one dies?


Quick Answer

When owners take title to a piece of property as joint tenants, it creates a right of survivorship, meaning when one tenant passes away, the surviving joint tenants automatically gain ownership of the deceased's portion, the Free Dictionary explains. Married couples take joint title under a joint tenancy called tenancy by the entirety.

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Full Answer

There are four different components of joint tenancy, the Free Dictionary explains. The first is an undivided interest in the property, meaning each share is equal and no owner can have a larger or smaller share. The second component is that each owner retains ownership the same amount of time, which is the lifetime of each tenant.

The third component is that each tenant holds property under the same title, and the last component is that all tenants have the same rights to the property until one tenant passes away. When that happens, that portion of the property automatically transfers to the surviving owners. When there is only one owner remaining, he owns all of the property, the Free Dictionary says. If at any time the owners want to sell the property, they must all agree to sell, and the proceeds of the sale must be divided evenly.

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