Legal Tips & Resources
In property ownership, the title is a document that names the legal owner of the property. Real estate is considered real property. When you sell property you have to transfer the title over. Likewise, the title has to be clear for the transfer. This means that there are no liens on the property that would otherwise threaten the new property owner’s ownership.
A person can hold a title in several different ways. Three of these ways include joint tenancy, sole ownership and community property. Here is what you need to know about these methods.
To have joint tenancy is to have two or more owners of one piece of property. In joint tenancy, each person has an equal right to the property. If one person dies, then the rights of ownership transfers to the survivors. With joint tenancy, you do not have to be married or related to the other owners of the property. The group shares the financial burden of the property. When you are involved in a joint tenancy, no one can sell the property or make financial decisions without the permission of all parties.
If one person or entity owns a piece of property, this is sole ownership. Single individuals generally have sole ownership. A married person can also have sole ownership over a piece of real estate if he or she owns it apart from the spouse. To be married and have sole ownership, one spouse usually has to disclaim the property. In sole ownership, the single owner can make any and all decisions for the property.
Community property involves property that is owned by a married couple. With community property, both members of the marriage have a right to their half of the property. For instance, one spouse can dispose of or relinquish his or her rights to have of the real estate. Generally, property that a couple acquires during the marriage becomes community property. In common-law marriages, real estate is also considered to be community property.
The title is the document that proves who the legal owner of the property is. When it comes to real estate, the title may not be owned by only one person. The above are different ways that people can hold property. If you have questions about real estate ownership or the title of real property, then it may be time to consult with a real estate lawyer.