Joint Tenants vs Tenants in Common – Part 1
You can own property (or a share in a property) with other people in one of two ways: as joint tenants or as tenants in common.
Being joint tenants is a bit like having a joint bank account – i.e. you both/all own the whole property together.
If one or more of the owners dies, their interest in the property does not form part of their estate. Instead, the surviving owner(s) simply continues to own the whole property.
Being tenants in common is different, and the difference is very important.
If you own a property with one or more other people as tenants in common, then you each own an identifiable share of the property. If you take a look at the applicable Record of Title, you will see that it says:
John Smith as to a ½ share. Sarah Black as to a ½ share.
Or if there are three owners:
John Smith as to a 1/3 share. Sarah Black as to a 1/3 share. Paul Doe as to a 1/3 share.
Because the respective shares of the owners are identifiable, if one of the owners dies, then their share forms part of their estate.
If you have questions around joint tenants and tenants in common, please call us.