If a property is co-owned and one owner dies, does the property then become the living co-owner’s solely?

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If a property is co-owned and one owner dies, does the property then become the living co-owner’s solely?

Asked on June 15, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Georgia

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It depends on what type of co-ownership exists and what the deed to the property states as to how title is help.  Joint tenants with rights of survivorship or tenants by the entirety are generally how married couples or partners hold property. But it is an option for those that show wish who are not married or partners.  Holding property that way means that the property passes one to the other automatically ("by operation of law") upon the death of one of the owners.  Tenants in Common is another way property is help in Georgia. Tenants in common of real property hold title so that each owner has an "undivided interest" in the property and all have an equal right to use the property. Tenants in common may not have equal ownership interest but each owner has the right to possess the entire real property. Each ownership interest may be sold, mortgaged, or willed to another separately. Surviving owners of tenants in common do not have a "right of survivorship" if one of the tenants in common dies. Upon the death of the title holder, his or her interest passes directly to his or her estate and the his or her interest can not be sold or conveyed with out the estate being probated.  Please seek help from a alwyer in your area.  Good luck.


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