if my fiancé and I are buying a house and are getting married in 2 months, how we should take title?

UPDATED: May 19, 2012

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if my fiancé and I are buying a house and are getting married in 2 months, how we should take title?

Joint tenants with right of survivorship or tenants in common? The house is in the 7 figure range so it is going to be a substantial purchase for both of us. If relevant, we each have 2 children from prior marriages.

Asked on May 19, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Please consult with an attorney in your area to discuss some estate planning here considering that you are taking title prior to marriage and you both have children.  A separate agreement would be wise.   Now, in your state you can take title in 4 ways: as tenants in common, as joint tenants with right of survivorship, as tenants by the entirety and as tenants in partnership.   You can not take title as tenants by the entirety as you are not married at the time of purchase.  As tenants in common, each of you would be able to transfer your interest during life and each can pass on your ownership interest to your heirs upon death. If you hold by joint tenancy with right of survivorship that is different in that upon the death of a co-owner the remaining joint tenant automatically gets the other person's half. Heirs do not get anything. Tenants in partnership hold real estate as a partnership, which is a separate legal entity. I do not think you want that but one never knows.  Good luck.


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