Joint Tenancy With Rights and Tenancy In Common
Ask the Real Estate Lawyer: Real Estate Law Q&A
REM # LAW 671
By Ilyce R. Glink and Samuel J. Tamkin
Summary: A reader would like to change the
title to their home from "joint tenancy with rights of survivorship"
to "tenancy in common." Ilyce and Sam explain the differences between
the two types of titles and how to change the title itself.
Q: The title to my home is in "joint tenancy with rights of survivorship".
What does it take for me to change the title to "tenancy in common"?
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A: Holding title in joint tenancy with rights of survivorship means that each
owner of the home owns an equal undivided share of the home and in case one
of the owners dies the remaining owners automatically own the property together.
Ownership as tenants in common would allow people to own a property in percentages
– the percentages can be different – and upon the death of one of
the owners, that person’s share in the building would be transferred according
to that person’s will or according to the laws of the state in which the
If you have a 75 percent ownership in the property, you can convey a portion
of that interest to other family members. Each owner owns his or her interest
in the building separately from the other, yet each owner has the right to use
the building as a whole.
To change title from joint tenancy to tenants in common, all owners of the
property should sign a deed conveying their interest in the property to themselves
and should specify the interest that each owner holds in the property. The deed
should also indicate that the owners hold title as tenants in common and not
as joint tenants.
Finally, the deed must be recorded with the recorder of deeds in the county
in which the property is located to make the transfer of title of record and
Samuel J. Tamkin is a Chicago-based real estate attorney. Ilyce
R. Glink’s latest book is 50 Simple Steps You Can Take To Sell Your
Home Faster and For More Money In Any Market. If you have questions for
them, write: Real Estate Matters Syndicate, PO Box 366, Glencoe, IL 60022
or contact them through Ilyce’s website www.thinkglink.com