A type of shared ownership of property, where each owner has an undivided interest in the property. This type of ownership creates a right of survivorship, which means that when one owner dies, the other owners absorb the deceased owner's interest. For example, if A and B own a house as joint tenants, both have undivided ownership of the property, and the full right to occupy and use all of it. If A dies, B gets sole ownership of the house, because of the right of survivorship.
Joint tenancies are generally disfavored by courts, who would prefer to find a property is owned via a tenancy in common.
Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary
A way for two or more people to share ownership of real estate or other property. In almost all states, the co-owners (called joint tenants) must own equal shares of the property. When one joint tenant dies, the other owners automatically own the deceased owner's share. For example, if spouses own a house as joint tenants and one dies, the survivor automatically becomes full owner. Because of this right of survivorship, the property goes directly to the surviving joint tenants without the delay and costs of probate. Compare: tenancy by the entirety
, tenancy in common
Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.
August 19, 2010, 5:18 pm