Does a deed have to state joint or tenants in common?

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Does a deed have to state joint or tenants in common?

Ours does not state that and there are 4 owners.

Asked on December 8, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Maine

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If a deed is silent as to whether owners hold it as tenants in common or joint tenants, then a tenancy in common is presumed. This is because the courts interpret ownership rights in as liberal a construction as possible.

Basically, a tenant in common has no restrictions on the transferability of their interest (i.e. share). Whereas with a joint tenancy, upon the death of a joint tenant, their interest interest in the property automatically transfers to the remaining tenant(s). Therefore, a joint tenant cannot Will their interest to anyone; their share doest not become part of their probate estate (i.e. it cannot be inherited).


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