When people buy a new home; one of the things they seldom think about is – How to take Title of the property?
Tenants in Common: The owners own a divisible share interest in the property. They could own it 50/50 or 60/40 or even 33/33/33 if there were 3 owners. If one of the owners dies, their share would go to their estate; per their will – if they have one. This of course does go through probate in court.
One complication could be this. Two people each own 50% of the property. One person dies and leaves their 50% to their 3 children. Now we have 4 owners. One with 50% and the 3 children which own 17% (or however it was divided by the will). Now we have 4 owners with as many as 4 different goals – and who knows if they all like each other?!
Joint Tenants with right of survivorship: If one of the owners die, their ownership basically ends and their share is automatically given to the other person. No wills or courts neccessary.
Tenants by the entirety: Is reserved for married couples. Like joint tenants above; but one difference is this: Let’s say one of the owners is sued in court. With joint tenants; the court could put a lien on the property; which could affect the other owners right to the full share of the home. However with tenants by the entirety; this could not happen.
In the District of Columbia, same-sex married couples can hold title by tenants by the entirety. Virginia and Maryland residents do not have that ability.
Whenever you are buying a property with someone else; much thought should be given to this matter. Most people don’t think; “What-if ?” You should. Bring in your most trusted advisors.
This post is not meant to be legal advise; but information. Questions should be brought up to your own experts and lawyer.