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What does it mean to take title to a property?

| Apr 29, 2020 | Firm News |

Mississippi residents planning to buy their first homes probably have many questions regarding real estate law. If more than two people are purchasing property together, they might want to learn about the various options they have as far as taking title concerned.

The two most common choices of taking title to a property are tenancy in common and joint tenancy. Although both are similar, fundamental differences between the two involve the percentage owned and the right of survivorship.

In most states, joint tenancy applies to married couples because it allows an equal share of property ownership; however, multiple owners can also take title through joint tenancy. If an owner passes away, the remaining owners, also known as remaindermen, have the right of survivorship and will receive equal interests in the decedent’s share of the property. Joint tenancy also allows the remaindermen to own the property without having to go through the process of probate. However, if one owner sells or transfers his part of ownership to someone else, ownership automatically switches to tenancy in common.

Those who own property as tenants in common could own unequal shares. Also, owners can obtain shares of the property at different times as opposed to a joint tenancy when ownership must take place at the same time. A tenant in common can opt to sell his shares to one or more of the remaining property owners or a new owner. Tenants in common lack the right of survivorship, so unless the deceased owner has named the remaindermen in his will, all property ownership remains with the estate, which would need to go through probate.

Laws concerning property ownership vary from state to state. Therefore, new home buyers might benefit from consulting a real estate attorney, who may offer valuable advice as far as taking ownership is concerned.