Can a joint tenant convey their share without the consent of the other tenant?

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Can a joint tenant convey their share without the consent of the other tenant?

My mother passed away last week. At the end she suffered with dementia and made some horrible decisions which I was not aware of. She and I are the only ones on the deed of a house. I was wondering if it was possible that she could have donated or gifted her half to another party without my knowledge or does a quit claim deed need to be signed by her and I to change names on the deed prior to her death?

Asked on March 10, 2018 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you were joint tenants with right of survivorship (JTROS), then she could not: JTROS's have the right to the other tenant's interest/share on the other tenant's death (that's what "right of survivorship" means), so she cannot affect your right in that regard (to get her share or interest on her passing) by conveying her interest to another person without your consent.
If you owned it as tenant's in common, however, she could do this: each tenant-in-common's interest is separate and distinct from each other tenant's interest, and may be encumbered or transferred without the other tenant's consent. 
So the answer to your question depends on how you owned it as joint tenants.


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