Joint tenancy is a form of ownership by two or more individuals together. It differs from other types of co-ownership in that the surviving joint tenant immediately becomes the owner of the whole property upon the death of the other joint tenant. This is called a “right of survivorship.” Joint ownership has rather rigid legal limitations and consequences that are sometimes not intended.
A joint tenancy between a husband and wife is generally known as a tenancy by the entirety. Tenancy by the entirety has some characteristics different than other joint tenancies, such as the inability of one joint tenant to sever the ownership and differences in tax treatment.
What is a Tenancy in Common?
A tenancy in common is another form of co-ownership. It is the ownership of an asset by two or more individuals together, but without the rights of survivorship that are found in a joint tenancy. Thus, on the death of one co-owner, his or her interest will not pass to the surviving owner or owners but will pass according to his or her will or, if there is no will, by the law determining heirs.