How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
A new question is answered every 9 seconds
Ask a Family Law question
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
characters left:
5 Family Lawyers are Online Now

Questions about Joint Tenancy Law

There are several laws under which people may own property. Joint tenancy with the right of survivorship has many advantages over the others. However, when ownership of property and other assets which are held under joint tenancy are challenged, questions may arise. Many turn online to the Family Lawyers on JustAnswer for insights and solutions. Here are some of the most frequently asked joint tenancy questions on JustAnswer.

What is meant by joint tenancy? Can a joint tenant will property to his or her children?

Joint tenancy creates a right of survivorship. A joint tenancy or joint ownership means that the surviving owner becomes the full owner of the property when the other dies. Neither joint tenant has the right to will the property to any of their children or any other person, nor to direct the surviving joint tenant regarding its future use. Once a joint tenant dies, the other party becomes 100% the full owner of the property without any encumbrances, and can will it to whomever he or she likes, sell it, or dispose of it according to his or her wishes.

The very reason that people choose joint tenancy instead of tenants in common is to avoid probate by having ownership transfer automatically. However, if the house is owned as tenants in common, one can will his share to his children. You can ask Family Lawyers on JustAnswer and seek guidance in matters pertaining to probate and various kinds of ownership.

Can monies from a joint tenancy between a father and daughter be used to pay off debt during the daughter’s marriage? If the daughter goes in for a divorce, may the father stake a claim for recovery from his ex-son-in-law?

The account is deemed to be held as an undivided interest, and thus if the daughter uses the account for marital debts, the decision to use those funds would be entirely between the daughter and father. It would have nothing to do with the marital community, and the father would not be able to stake a claim against his ex-son-in-law since the daughter is an owner of the account.

What are some advantages and disadvantages of tenants in common versus joint tenancy in California? In the case of marriage, can one use tenants in common to protect any premarital assets?

Various U.S. states recognize different tenancy laws. California does not recognize tenancy by the entireties, which is an advantageous and beneficial law to holding property as joint tenants, since creditors of one spouse will be unable to attach property when held in such a manner. However, California does allow for real property to be held as "community property with rights of survivorship.” This allows the property to avoid probate if one spouse dies, as it passes automatically to the other spouse.

But, if rights of survivorship are not required, one may want to hold as tenants in common. This form of ownership provides for an indivisible 50% interest in the property without the rights of survivorship. In this case, either spouse may transfer his or her interest to another party. But if property is purchased as a married couple, it would be considered as community property and a court could equitably divide the proceeds of any sale by one spouse in a divorce proceeding. In California, married couples generally prefer to hold real property as community property with rights of survivorship.

Which party is responsible for the upkeep of property in a joint tenancy?

All parties of the joint tenancy are technically responsible for any expenses pertaining to the upkeep of the property. It is up to the joint tenants to decide as to which party and how much of the expenses will be borne by whom. There is no law in existence that requires a specific division of expenses.

In a joint tenancy land deed between spouses, what happens to land owned when a divorce takes place? Can an ex-spouse prevent the other from accessing the property as long as the joint tenancy is in force?

In a joint tenancy land deed, each spouse owns half the property and can force a sale of it in a divorce. An ex-spouse cannot prevent the other (ex-spouse) from accessing the property by any means and under any grounds.

Many jurisdictions in the U.S. refer to a joint tenancy as a joint tenancy with right of survivorship, and a few U.S. States treat the phrase joint tenancy as synonymous with a tenancy in common. To avoid confusion, asking a Family Lawyer on JustAnswer can help provide clarity.
Ask a Family Law question
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
characters left:
5 Family Lawyers are Online Now

How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
< Last | Next >
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
  • He answered my question promptly and gave me accurate, detailed information. If all of your experts are half as good, you have a great thing going here. Diane Dallas, TX
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Ron

    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    21119
    23 years with Ford specializing in drivability and electrical and AC. Ford certs and ASE Certs
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FO/fordguy4u/2011-12-17_222940_HPIM1257.64x64.JPG Ron's Avatar

    Ron

    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    21119
    23 years with Ford specializing in drivability and electrical and AC. Ford certs and ASE Certs
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/lyeung1/2010-07-25_032152_tn_IMG_0241.JPG Dr. Y.'s Avatar

    Dr. Y.

    Urologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    18367
    I am fellowship trained specializing in general urology and reconstructive urology.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/docjohn174/2008-12-13_170143_johnask.jpg John's Avatar

    John

    Home Appliance Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    13453
    Appliance repair business owner for over 43 years.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8472
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dermdoc19/2010-09-30_160749_Photo_122807_015.JPG dermdoc19's Avatar

    dermdoc19

    Dermatologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    3827
    30 years practice in general and cosmetic dermatology
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BI/birddoctor/2012-6-22_173214_birddoctor.64x64.png Dr. Pat's Avatar

    Dr. Pat

    Bird Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    3383
    25+ years working primarily or exclusively with birds
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/rydergar/2012-6-6_192240_IMG0328.64x64.JPG Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Cat Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    3291
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)