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Joint Tenancy and Tenancy in Common – What’s the Difference?

Joint Tenancy and Tenancy in Common – What’s the Difference?

Joint Tenancy and Tenancy in Common – What’s the Difference?

Joint Tenancy and Tenancy in Common refer to the ways a property is registered at the Titles Office if there is more than one proprietor (for example a husband and wife). When you purchase a property with someone else you have the option to purchase the property as Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common.

  • Joints Tenants means both proprietors own the property in equal shares and if party A passes away, party B receives the whole property notwithstanding what is stated in party A’s Will.

If party A’s Will directs their share to be gifted to someone other than the surviving proprietor, this becomes problematic and issues may arise as the “right of survivorship” inherent in a joint tenancy will prevail and override any conflicting gift in the Will.

  • However, Tenants in Common is where each person has a particular share of the property. This does not have to be equal and can be registered as any percentage.

Therefore, if party A passes away in this example, then their share of the property will be dealt with in accordance with their Will and doesn’t automatically pass to the surviving proprietor (party B). Party B might have the assumption that the whole of the property will automatically be transferred to them if party A passes away, but this is not the case. If party A wants to direct their share in the property to party B, they must make specific provisions for this in their Will.

Therefore, it is important to realise that these two tenancy agreements, although they sound similar, are not the same and govern the way your property will be dispersed amongst your loved ones. We can assist you in the planning of your estate and ensure your intentions are realistic, reflective and clear in your Will to ensure the people you love are taken care of.

We have a range of fixed fee consultations and services that may suit or alternatively click here to view our online Will application form. By doing this you qualify for a 10% discount off your legal fees with us.

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