|TENANCY IN COMMON||JOINT TENANCY||COMMUNITY PROPERTY||COMMUNITY PROPERTY with Right of Survivorship|
|Parties||Two or more persons ?||Two or more natural persons||Spouses or domestic partners ?||Spouses or domestic partners ?|
|Division||Ownership can be divided into any number of interests, equal or unequal||Ownership interests must be equal||Ownership interests must be equal||Ownership interests must be equal|
|Creation||One or more conveyances (law presumes interests are equal if not otherwise specified)||Single conveyances (creating identical interests); vesting must specify joint tenancy||Presumption from marriage or domestic partnership or can be designated in deed||Single conveyance and spouses or domestic partners must indicate consent which can be on deed|
|Possession and control||Equal||Equal||Equal||Equal|
|Transferability||Each co-owner may transfer or mortgage their interest separately||Each co-owner may transfer his/her interest separately but tenancy in common results||Both spouses or domestic partners must consent to transfer or mortgage||Both spouses or domestic partners must consent to transfer or mortgage|
|Liens against one owner||Unless married or domestic partners, co-owner’s interest not subject to liens of other debtor/owner but forced sale can occur||Co-owner’s interest not subject to liens of other debtor/owner but forced sale can occur if prior to co-owner’s/debtor’s death||Entire property may be subject to forced sale to satisfy debt of either spouse or domestic partner||Entire property subject to forced sale to satisfy debt of either spouse or domestic partner|
|Death of co-owner||Decedent’s interest passes to his/her devisees or heirs by will or intestacy||Decedent’s interest automatically passes to surviving joint tentant (“Right of Survivorship”)||Decedent’s 1/2 interest passes to surviving spouse or domestic partner unless otherwise devised by will||Decedent’s 1/2 interest automatically passes to surviving spouse or domestic partner due to right of survivorship|
|Possible advantages/disadvantages||Co-owners interests may be separately transferable ?||Qualified surviorship rights; mutual consent required for transfer; surviving spouse or domestic partner may have tax advantage2||Decedent’s 1/2 interest passes to surviving spouse or domestic partner unless otherwise devised by will||Right of survivorship; mutual consent required for transfer; surviving spouse or domestic partner may have tax advantage|
THIS IS PROVIDED FOR GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY. FOR SPECIFIC QUESTIONS OR FINANCIAL, TAX OR ESTATE PLANNING GUIDANCE, WE SUGGEST YOU CONTACT AN ATTORNEY OR CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT.
Title to real property in California may be held by individuals, either in Sole Ownership or in Co-ownership. Co-ownership of real property occurs when title is held by two or more persons. There are several variations as to how title may be held in each type of ownership. The following brief summaries reference some of the most common examples of each as providing by the California Land Title Association.
Sole ownership may be described as ownership by an individual or other entity capable of acquiring title. Examples of common vesting cases of sole ownership are:
Title to property owned by two or more persons may be vested in the following forms:
Note: If a married person enters into a joint tenancy that does not include their spouse, the title company insuring title may require the spouse of the married man or woman acquiring title to specifically consent to the joint tenancy. The same rules will apply for same sex married couples and domestic partners.
A Trust is an arrangement whereby legal title to property is transferred by a grantor to a person called a trustee, to be held and managed by that person for the benefit of the people specified in the trust agreement, called the beneficiaries. A trust is generally not an entity that can hold title in its own name. Instead title is often vested in the trustee of the trust. For example: Bruce Buyer trustee of the Buyer Family Trust.