In today’s society most people tend to buy properties together. There are two main types of co-ownership, a joint-tenancy and a tenancy in common. Both serve different purposes and so it is important that you enter into the correct arrangement for you.
In a joint-tenancy the parties are treated as being owners of the whole property together; they do not own a particular share in the property. In order for a joint-tenancy to exist the owners must have an equal right to possess the whole property and are jointly liable for it. In addition they must have obtained their legal ownership from the same document at the same time. Joint-tenants benefit from survivorship. This concept states that where one co-owner dies his estate automatically passes to the remaining joint-tenant. Practically this means no inheritance tax has to be paid.
In a tenancy in common each owner holds a particular share in the property. The amount each owns often reflects the initial contributions towards the purchase price, however does not have to. In order for this type of co-ownership to subsist each must have the right to enjoy the whole property. As tenants in common are treated as individuals the concept of survivorship does not apply upon one owner’s death. Instead their share will pass to those named in their will or through the intestacy rules leaving the other tenant legally unaffected.
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