One issue that we have seen time and again is a simple issue of tenancy-or lack thereof-on a deed. It is imperative that tenancy be specified on a deed. Two types of tenancy exist:
– Joint Tenants with Rights of Survivorship -if one party were to pass away, their interest would automatically transfer to the other title holder.
– Tenants in Common -if one party were to pass away their interest would be transferred to their heirs NOT the remaining person on title.
If neither is specified on the deed, is the surviving owner(s) must go through the probate process. This may take considerable time, since either a Will (or if no Will exists, state law) determines who gets the deceased person’s share of the property.
We urge sellers AND buyers to review the deed that is being signed at the table. Check not only your names for accuracy but the tenancy as well.