If I own a property with a relative that’s deeded asjoint tenants with right of survivorship, can that relative transfer their half?

UPDATED: Jun 9, 2011

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If I own a property with a relative that’s deeded asjoint tenants with right of survivorship, can that relative transfer their half?

Can the other owner transfer their half interest to someone else without my signature and call it a deed or would it be a transfer of interest only?

Asked on June 9, 2011 under Real Estate Law, West Virginia


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It would be neither becuase to answer the main question here that you have asked: no, the joint tenant can not transfer their interest to anyone else if there are rights of survivorship  That is the beauty of "rights of survivorship."  The property passes automatically  - or what is sometimes called "by operation of law" - the the other party named on the deed at the death of one of the joint tenants.  The property does not have to go through the probate of the deceased party's estate either.  It can also be an effective way to avoid probate.  If you think that the other joint tenant is going to do something fishy consult with an attorney and call him or her on it.  Good luck.

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