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Understanding Joint Tenancy

There are several different types of shared ownership when it comes to property. One of these is known as joint tenancy. Property that is held under a joint tenancy includes a written ownership document that identifies the owners as joint tenants with right of survivorship or as joint tenants.

Each tenant owns an equal portion of the property and the share of the first individual who passes away will go to survivors, even if there is a living trust or a will that has contradictory terms. Joint tenancy can only be created through a written document.

If you currently own property using the phrase joint tenants with right of survivorship, there will be no question about the portion of ownership that you have. The answer to whether or not something can be classified as joint tenancy depends on the state in which the property is located.

Make sure that if your current document says that you hold ownership with another individual using the term ‘or’ or ‘and’, you need to ensure that you have had this reviewed by an estate planning lawyer regarding the specific rules in your state.

The specificity of the writing in these documents is instrumental for outlining whether or not you have shared ownership.


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