Joint tenancy is a form of ownership of real or personal property. By this form of ownership, two or more parties own undivided interest in the same property.
The parties involved, called joint tenants, share ownership of the property or asset, as well as equal rights to keep or dispose of the property in question. Moreover, all joint tenants have equal responsibility of the property, and are equally exposed to liabilities.
Joint tenancy ownership creates what is called “right to survivorship,” which means that when one of the joint tenants dies, his/her interest in the jointly-owned property is wholly and equally transferred to the other joint tenants.
If all joint tenants mutually agree on the sale of their property/asset, sale proceeds are divided equally among them – sale must be agreed upon by all joint tenants.
If, instead, one of the joint tenant wishes to transfer her or his interest in the asset/property to a new owner (not one of the existing joint tenants), the joint tenancy is broken and tenancy in common is established with the new owner.
– As opposed to the joint tenancy, a tenant-in-common can have a share that is larger or smaller that the others
– A tenant-in-common can choose to dispose of his or her interest in the property/asset, without restrictions imposed by joint tenancy
– Tenancy in common does not have a right of survivorship that would pass interest to the other tenants, in the event of one’s death. One’s share can, however, pass to his or her heirs (not initially tenants in common of the property/asset)
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