Joint Tenancy Deeds
The customary vesting deed now used at closing is a Joint Tenancy Deed with Right of Survivorship. The use of this type of deed ensures that at the death of one joint tenant the survivor owns the entire title to the property without need for probate. This type of deed is even used by elderly parents with their child or children.
Contrastingly, a tenancy in common deed vests a one-half undivided interest in each of the parties. At the death of either, the decedent’s interest does not automatically vest in the other tenant in common. Instead, the decedent’s interest vests in the Executor of the estate if the decedent had a will or the heirs at law if the decedent died without a will. In either situation, using the tenancy in common deed requires that the half interest of the deceased tenant in common be administered in their estate according to the dictates of the Probate Court.
Since this election deals with an allocation of assets at death as well as tax implications, it would be advisable to check with a CPA or Estate Planner regarding your testamentary disposition.