what does ‘not in tenants in common but in joint tenants’ mean in texas

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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what does ‘not in tenants in common but in joint tenants’ mean in texas

this was on a quit claim deed in texas and no one wants to answer the question — do you?

Asked on June 11, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

It means it is held  (or owned) as joint tenants, not as tenants in common. Tenants in common have essentially their own, divisible interests in property: if there are two tenants in common, each is a half-owner and can sell, give away, will to someone after their death, etc. their 50% interest, and the other owner has no say over what they do with it. 
But joint tenants have indivisible interests: when one joint tenant passes away, the other one instantly and automatically, without probate or the property interest going through the deceased's estate, becomes the sole, 100% owner. That means one of the joint tenants cannot will or leave his/her interest to anyone else; it also means, because the likelihood of the other owner getting the interest if/when the first one dies is affected by who that first owner is (e.g. his/her age, or if there is one other joint owner or multiple ones), he or she cannot even sell or gift his/her interest, since changing the identity or number of joint tenants affects the likelihood of a joint tenant becoming sole owner on the other(s) death. So both joint tenants have to sell, gift, etc. the property together; neither can sell, gift, will, etc. their interest separately.

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