3 Common Forms of Ownership of Florida Real Estate
The following is a description of the three most common forms of ownership. Prior to the client signing a Real Estate Contract, the attorney should determine up-front the type of ownership desired by the buyer. This decision may control who must sign the contract.
(Please note, once the deed is signed, notarized and recorded the only way to change who owns the property is to sign a new deed – See: 3 Steps to Add a Name to a Florida Deed)
The 3 most common forms of ownership of Florida real estate are:
Tenancy By The Entireties
This type of tenancy can be held only by a husband and wife. It is one on which they hold title to the whole, with a right of survivorship, and it generally is designated as follows: John Doe and Jane Doe, husband and wife. Neither tenant can transfer an interest in the property or encumber it without the other joining the conveyance. Upon the death of one tenant, the other automatically owns the entire property. Upon divorce, a tenancy by the entireties becomes a tenancy in common.
Tenancy In Common
Any individual can hold a partial interest in the title of this manner. It is tenancy in which the individual holds an undivided interest in the property, with no right of survivorship. The fractional interest of each tenant is equal unless otherwise set forth in deed, and is freely transferable by the sole tenant. In the event one tenant dies, the other tenant does not automatically acquire his or her interest; instead, the deceased tenant’s interest passes to her or her heirs or devisees. A tenancy in common generally is designated as follows: John Smith (marital status) and Robert Smith (marital status), as tenants in common.
Join Tenancy with Right of Survivorship
Any individual can hold title in this manner. In this tenancy, the individuals hold an undivided interest in the property, with a right of survivorship upon the death of the other tenant. It is designated as follows: John Smith (marital status) and Robert Smith (marital status), as join tenant with the right of survivorship. If w.r.o.s. is not specifically stated, the tenancy will be deemed as “tenants in common.” A joint tenant may encumber his or her fractional interest in the property or may transfer it during his or her fractional interest in the property or may transfer it during his or her lifetime and thereby render the tenancy one in common. However, the joint tenant may not leave the interest by will to one other than the listed surviving joint tenants.
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