We often hear clients say they own real estate with another person and that there is a right of survivorship. Their intention is that if one of the co-owners passes away before the other, the interest of the owner that predeceases the surviving owner will automatically pass to the surviving owner. However, under certain circumstances and despite their best intentions, the co-owners might not have a legally binding “right of survivorship”.
With the exception of a conveyance to a legally married husband and wife (see below), a conveyance to two or more persons will not be presumed to include a right of survivorship. In order to establish the right of survivorship, the right of survivorship must be stated expressly. So, if you intend to own property with another individual and have a right of survivorship, you must make sure to include language to this effect. For example, a conveyance to “John Doe and Jim Deer, as joint tenants” will not suffice. A conveyance to “John Doe and Jim Deer as joint tenants with right of survivorship” will do the job.
A conveyance to a legally married husband and wife, in the absence of language to the contrary, establishes a tenancy by the entireties. A tenancy by the entireties is presumed to have a right of survivorship. So, a conveyance to “John Doe and Jane Doe, husband and wife” does establish a right of survivorship even without the express words “right of survivorship”.
There are other issues to consider when determining how to take title to real estate. Make sure to consult with an attorney so that you can make an informed decision on how you want to own your property.
To consult with an experienced real estate lawyer today, call 855-686-6752
– Spencer R. Munns is a shareholder at the firm of Bogin, Munns & Munns, where he practices in the areas of Commercial Real Estate Transactions and Leasing, Real Estate Development and Finance, and Title Claims Resolution. For more information on these and related real estate matters, call Mr. Munns at 407.578.9696 or e-mail him at [email protected].
NOTICE: The article above is not intended to serve as legal advice, and you should not rely on it as such. It is offered only as general information. You should consult with a duly licensed attorney regarding your Florida legal matter, as every situation is unique. Please know that merely reading this article, subscribing to this blog, or otherwise contacting Bogin, Munns & Munns does not establish an attorney-client relationship with our firm. Should you seek legal representation from Bogin, Munns & Munns, any such representation must first be agreed to by the firm and confirmed in a written agreement.