Joint Tenancy Ownership
What is joint tenancy ownership?
Joint tenancy ownership is where 2 or more people hold title to an asset together. Unlike other types of joint ownership, upon the death of one of the owners, the deceased person’s interest passes automatically to the surviving joint tenants. This is called the “right of survivorship.”
How do I create a joint tenancy?
A joint tenancy is created in a document, usually a deed, that must specifically say ownership is with a “right of survivorship.”
Does property I own as a joint tenant pass through probate?
No, property owned as joint tenants does not pass through probate. At your death, your portion of the property goes to the other owners.
Can I use a joint tenancy to plan my estate?
Sometimes joint tenancy is the best way to plan your estate, but it is best to talk to an attorney first.
What are some considerations before creating a joint tenancy?
Joint ownership can complicate your affairs while you are still living. Joint ownership gives another person equal control over your property. Adding names to a title or deed can also affect your eligibility for tax credits and government benefits. Additionally, creditors of joint owners could collect against the jointly owned property.
Acknowledgements & Disclaimer: This Fact Sheet was prepared by West Tennessee Legal Services (WTLS) and made possible by Serving Tennessee Seniors-administered by The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee at the request of the Chancery Court. WTLS thanks the Tennessee Bar Association for its permission to use The Legal Handbook for Tennessee Seniors (2014 edition) as a primary information source. This publication is supported, in part, by funds provided by the Southwest Area Agency on Aging and Disability, the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The content herein does not necessarily reflect the opinion or policy of the Southwest Area Agency on Aging and Disability or any agency of Tennessee or the U.S. government. Fact Sheets are for information only and not intended to replace legal advice. If you are in need of legal help, call WTLS at (800) 372-8346, or seek the help of a private attorney. (Revised 5/2017)