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Joint Ownership and Tenancy in Common: Know the Difference

I wrote about joint tenancy for a different blog, but then I realized that joint tenancy was one of those crossover topics that spanned different areas of law. It's also a topic that would be of concern to Boston real estate attorneys.

Massachusetts, you see, is not a community property state. As such, it's not easily presumed that a property purchased by husband and wife together would be a 50/50 split.

There are multiple ways to own property and one of them could be more beneficial to your particular set of facts and circumstances than, say, another form of property ownership.

Joint tenancy is popular with estate planners because it is a form of property ownership that can avoid probate. And while most questions regarding probate are probably best left to an estate planning lawyer, many Boston real estate attorneys could explain the benefits of one form of ownership over another.

Joint tenancy has one key defining element-- the right of survivorship. This means that if one joint owner dies the property interest of the deceased transfers over to the surviving owner.

Another form of ownership is the tenancy in common. It's a form of ownership that is very similar to a joint tenancy, with one huge exception.

The tenancy in common has no right of survivorship.

This means that a tenant-in-common can give away his or her property interest in a will. In joint tenancy, such a bequest may be void, since the joint tenancy trumps the bequest.

It's important to understand the legal implications behind holding property. While this was a mere blog post intended to outline the differences, a Boston real estate lawyer could explain the differences to you in greater detail.

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