One of the most important considerations, when you buy property, is how you want to hold the title. Generally, if you own property as the sole owner, then the deed will use language like “Carol, a single woman” to establish ownership. However, you have more choices when two or more people decide to co-own property. In this situation, you’ll need to carefully consider how to take title to the property and confirm that your closing attorney has properly filled out the deed. At The Epps Law Group, we provide detailed real estate closing services to make sure that all legal documents are completed accurately.
Tenants in Common
Two or more people can own real estate as tenants in common. In this arrangement, they can own unequal amounts. For example, a brother and sister might own a summer home, with the brother owning 75% of the home and the sister owning the remaining 25%.
At death, each owner’s share of the property will pass according to their will or trust. For example, one owner might leave his share to his two children, and the other owner passes her share to her niece. While living, either owner can sell their share of the property to someone else.
Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship
Two or more people can also own real estate in a joint tenancy. In this arrangement, all owners must own an equal share of the property. For example, a husband and wife will own a home 50/50. If they want to own an unequal share, then they must own it as tenants in common.
One popular feature of a joint tenancy is that an owner’s share will automatically pass to the other owner at the time of death. In this way, you can avoid probate court, which will save you time and money.
Like a tenancy in common, each owner can sell their share of the property without the other owner’s permission. However, doing so will destroy the joint tenancy, replacing it with a tenancy in common.
Problems that Arise if the Transfer is Titled Wrong
Your closing attorney will create either a tenancy in common or a joint tenancy depending on the language they use in the deed. Consider the following:
- Tenancy in common: the deed will use language like “Carol and Chad, as tenants in common.”
- Joint tenancy: the deed will use language like “Carol and Chad, as joint tenants with right of survivorship.”
If you use an inexperienced Georgia real estate closing attorney, then they might use the wrong language in the deed. This can create headaches down the road if you try to sell your share of the property or if one of the owners dies.
Contact a Georgia Real Estate Closing Attorney Today
People’s homes are often their largest investment, so it’s critical that the deed accurately record how you want to own it. The Epps Law Group has extensive experience in Georgia real estate closings and will ensure that the deed reflects your wishes. Call us today at (678) 257-4507 or fill out our online contact form.