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What does "joint tenant" on a grant deed means

Murrieta, CA |

My husband just made us husband and wife joint tenant on a grant deed to his house. What does this mean?

Attorney Answers 2


Joint tenants own equal, undivided interests in real property, with the right of survivorship. When one joint tenant dies, her share passes to the living joint tenants. This removes the need for probate.

In some cases, a spouse owning separate property will deed it their person and their spouse. This will remove the ambiguity related to the separate nature of the property, vesting half in the spouse. Also, as mentioned above this removes the need for probate upon the death of one spouse.

Joint tenants are different from tenants-in-common. In a tenancy-in-common, one owner's share will pass to their heirs upon death, not to the other co-tenants.

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Joint tenancy is a form of concurrent ownership – i.e., ownership by two or more persons at the same time. With a joint tenancy, each joint tenant’s interest must be created by the same instrument, each interest must be equal, and each tenant must have the same rights and obligations respecting the property

Under a joint tenancy, two individuals (often husband and wife) own equal and undivided interests in a piece of property. When one of the individuals dies, the surviving individual acquires ownership of the entire piece of property by right of survivorship. To establish ownership, the surviving individual simply executes and records an affidavit of death.

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