Can a joint tenant convey their share without the consent of the other tenant?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can a joint tenant convey their share without the consent of the other tenant?

My mother passed away last week. At the end she suffered with dementia and made some horrible decisions which I was not aware of. She and I are the only ones on the deed of a house. I was wondering if it was possible that she could have donated or gifted her half to another party without my knowledge or does a quit claim deed need to be signed by her and I to change names on the deed prior to her death?

Asked on March 10, 2018 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If you were joint tenants with right of survivorship (JTROS), then she could not: JTROS's have the right to the other tenant's interest/share on the other tenant's death (that's what "right of survivorship" means), so she cannot affect your right in that regard (to get her share or interest on her passing) by conveying her interest to another person without your consent.
If you owned it as tenant's in common, however, she could do this: each tenant-in-common's interest is separate and distinct from each other tenant's interest, and may be encumbered or transferred without the other tenant's consent. 
So the answer to your question depends on how you owned it as joint tenants.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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