Title and Tenancy Guidelines

Tenancy in Severalty
  • Property is held by one party, severed from all others
  • Created by any transfer to one party
  • Possession is total
  • Title to the property is one tile in one party
  • Conveyance of interest has no restrictions
  • Entire property is subject to probate
  • Subject to creditor's claims
Tenancy in Common
  • Property is held by two or more persons, with no right of survivorship
  • Created by express act; also by failure to express the tenancy
  • Possession is equal right of possession
  • Title to the property stipulates that each co-owner has a separate legal title to his/her undivided interest; will be equal interests unless expressly made unequal
  • Each co-owner's interest may be conveyed separately by its owner; purchaser becomes tenant in common
  • Decedent's fractional interest is subject to probate.  The property passes, by will to devisees or to the heirs, who take the property as tenants in common.  No survivorship rights
  • Co-owners fractional inters may be sold to satisfy a creditor who then becomes a tenant in common
Joint Tenancy
  • Property is held by two or more individuals (nor corporations, partnerships, etc).  Includes right of survivorship
  • Created by express intention plus four unites of time, title, interest and possession
  • Parties have equal right of possession
  • One title is created to the whole property since each tenant is deemed owner of the whole.  Must be equal undivided interests
  • Conveyance of one co-owner's interest breaks his/her tenancy; purchaser becomes a tenant in common
  • No probate.  Property cannot be disposed of by a will and the property automatically belongs to the surviving co-tenants.  The last one holds the property in severalty
  • Joint tenancy is broken and purchaser becomes tenant in common.  Creditor gets nothing if debtor tenant dies before the sale
Tenancy by the Entirety
  • Property is held by husband and wife or Hawaii registered Reciprocal Beneficiaries.  Includes right of survivorship
  • Created with express intention.  Divorce terminates for husband and wife- marriage terminates Reciprocal Beneficiaries and automatically results in tenancy in common
  • Equal right of possession
  • One title in the tenancy unit
  • Cannot convey without the other tenant
  • Right of survivorship with no probate
  • A judgement creditor only of both tenants can execute on property.  Federal liens may attach to the property
 It is good practice to consult with your attorney, CPA, and financial advisors regarding titling of your property