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How to break Joint Tenancy with Survivorship Warranty Deed in Georgia.

Lawrenceville, GA |

I, my parents and my brother are listed on a deed for my parents condo that is all paid for. My mom passed away a while back ago, so I assume that 3 of us now own equal parts. My dad wants to move into a retirement home but since we do not have relationship with my brother - we can't sell condo. My dad wants to be removed from the deed, is Quit Claim enough? How can we break Joint Tenancy and sell condo without my brother's cooperation? Any legal options to do this? Can we rent it out without my brother's cooperation?

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Attorney answers 2


Lots of questions. The joint tenancy was broken when your mom died, leaving dad, you and brothers as tenants in common. However, this has nothing to do with being able to sell without your brother's cooperation. He still has ownership rights, same as you. Yes, your father an convey his interest by quitclaim to get his name off the title.

That may not be enough, though, to keep a nursing home from coming after the property if he dies leaving a big bill.

Renting it out without the cooperation of brother is not proper either, as a lease is between the owners and the tenant. You'd have an unenforceable lease and you'd be inviting a lawsuit from the brother.

There are options, but they aren't quick or inexpensive. I would be glad to take your call and give you some direction.

If you have further questions, call me at 770-904-5115. The information and opinion rendered herein is done as a courtesy and is for general informational purposes. Nothing herein may be construed by any party as to give rise to an attorney-client relationship.


You should consult a local real estate attorney.

If the four of you owned as joint tenants with rights of survivorship, that means you each owned 100% of the property. When your mother passed, the three remaining people named in the deed would remain 100% owners and as joint tenants unless a deed was filed changing the form of ownership.

You can break the joint tenancy by having your father deed his interest to you. The new deed would recount that you are a tenant in common with the remaining owner - your brother. You would likely own 2/3 to his 1/3.

Note that there may be tax consequences to this "gift" and that medicare / medicaid has a look back period that can invalidate a transfer for less than fair market value.

I am not a GA attorney, laws vary from state to state, therefore you should always consult a local attorney.

If this answer was helpful, please mark it as helpful or as a best answer. This answer is for general education purposes only. It neither creates an attorney-client relationship nor provides legal guidance or advice. The answer is based on the limited information provided and the answer might be different had additional information been provided. You should consult an attorney.

David Michael Lawler

David Michael Lawler


With respect the previous Attorneys opinion is incorrect when it comes to Georgia law on this matter. if there are four joint tenants with survivorship on title and one of them dies the 3 survivors take title as tenants in common

Michael T Millar

Michael T Millar


I stated the general rule - I gladly defer to local counsel for local variations to the general rule.

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