Southwest DC Real Estate
Eddie Rangel & Steven Dean
202-525-6499202-525-6499

How to Hold Title

by Eddie Rangel, REALTOR

For legal advice on how one should hold title, it’s recommended to consult an attorney. Here is some general information on holding title when the property is owned by more than one person.

•  Tenants by the Entirety is available to married couples only. Each spouse owns the entire property. The property cannot be seized because of the debts of one spouse. This is generally considered the best protection available.

•  Tenants in Common indicates that each person on the title owns a share of the property which they can transfer or will to others. The property cannot be seized because of the debts of one of the owners. When an owner dies, the shares owned transfer through the owner’s will through probate.

•  Joint Tenancy  (which is often called Joint Tenancy with the Right of Survivorship) indicates that each person on the title owns a share of the property which transfers automatically to the surviving owners upon death. When an owner dies, the shares owned transfer through the owner’s will through probate. The family of the deceased cannot challenge the transfer as they could a will. There are no protections on the property for the debts of other owners.

Those are the general principals of the three most common ways to hold title.