Joint Tenancy Pros and Cons

Authored by , LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

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What Is Joint Tenancy?

Joint Tenancy is a form of real estate title wherein two or more persons hold undivided shares in the property.  In a joint tenancy, each joint tenant is usually provided with the “right of survivorship”.  This means that if one joint tenant passes away, then the deceased tenant’s portion passes to the surviving joint owners.

In some states, the right to survivorship must be specifically stated and claimed in order to be applicable.  Joint tenants cannot deny other joint tenants the right to use and enjoy the shared property.  Joint tenancy is often considered an ideal form of title for unmarried couples or persons who are registered as domestic partners. 

What Are Some of the Pros and Cons of Joint Tenancy?

There are many pros and cons associated with joint tenancy.  Depending on your situation and your individual needs, some of the characteristic features of joint tenancy may or may not be right for you.  What might be a disadvantage to one person may actually work for you, and vice versa. 

Pros of joint tenancy include:

Some of the Cons associated with joint tenancy may include:

Again, some of the “cons” of joint tenancy may actually work for you.  For example, most persons enter into a joint tenancy arrangement specifically so that they can split mortgage payment duties with other persons.  This may result in a lower monthly payment.     

Is a Lawyer Necessary for Joint Tenancy Arrangements?

Joint tenancy and property laws can vary widely by region.  If you are unsure of whether to enter into a joint tenancy arrangement, a lawyer can provide sound advice for you.  They can also help you draft the tenancy agreement, or include a joint tenancy clause in the home ownership documents.  Finally, if you have any disputes with other joint tenants, a lawyer can help you recover losses in a court of law.   

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Last Modified: 03-11-2014 02:10 PM PDT

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