Types of Real Estate Ownership: Learn the differences | Summary and Q&A

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March 14, 2022
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The Real Estate Lawyer
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Types of Real Estate Ownership: Learn the differences

TL;DR

Learn about three ways to own property with someone in North Carolina: tenancy by the entirety, joint tenancy with the right of survivorship, and tenancy in common.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What is tenancy by the entirety and what protections does it offer?

Tenancy by the entirety is available to married individuals and protects jointly owned property from individual creditors. If one spouse incurs a judgment, the property is safeguarded from being seized to pay off the judgment.

Q: How does joint tenancy with the right of survivorship work?

In joint tenancy with the right of survivorship, if one owner dies, the surviving owner automatically becomes the sole owner of the property. However, there is no protection from creditors.

Q: What happens if one owner passes away in tenancy in common?

In tenancy in common, if one owner dies, their share of the property does not automatically go to the other owner. Instead, it goes to their heirs or beneficiaries specified in their will, or based on intestate laws if there is no will.

Q: Can the percentages of ownership be different in tenancy in common?

Yes, in tenancy in common, the percentages of ownership can be specified differently in the deed. It allows for unequal ownership shares.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Tenancy by the entirety is only available to married individuals and provides protection from individual creditors. When one spouse dies, the other spouse automatically owns the property.

  • Joint tenancy with the right of survivorship allows the survivor to fully own the property if one owner passes away. However, there is no creditor protection.

  • Tenancy in common is the most common type of ownership and applies when there is no specified right of survivorship. Each owner's share goes to their heirs upon their death.

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