A concurrent estate or co-tenancy is a concept in property law which describes the various ways in which property is owned by more than one person at a time. If more than one person owns the same property, they are commonly referred to as co-owners. Legal terminology for co-owners of real estate is either co-tenants or joint tenants, with the latter phrase signifying a right of survivorship. Most common law jurisdictions recognize tenancies in common and joint tenancies, and some also recognize tenancies by the entirety, which is a joint tenancy between married persons. Many jurisdictions refer to a joint tenancy as a joint tenancy with right of survivorship, but they are the same, as every joint tenancy includes a right of survivorship. In contrast, a tenancy in common does not include a right of survivorship.
What is ‘Joint Tenancy’
A type of property right where two or more people own or rent a property together, each with equal rights and obligations, until one owner dies. Upon an owner’s death, that owner’s interest in the property passes to the survivors without the property having to go through probate.
Explaining ‘Joint Tenancy’
Joint tenancy can be created by deed or by will. For example, an unmarried couple purchases a house. At the time of purchase, the real estate agent asks the couple how they want to own the home. If they opt for joint tenancy, the deed to the property will then name the two owners as joint tenants. Then if one person dies, the other person will automatically become the full owner of the property.
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