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There are three different ways to hold title to real property in Florida:

  1. Tenants in common;
  2. Tenancy by the entireties;
  3. Joint tenants with rights of survivorship. A Joint Tenancy is a term used to describe the situation where two or more persons own the same property.

If you own Florida real estate with more than one person, it is important to understand how the title to the property is held, because you want to know what will happen to the property when you pass away. Here, we will discuss Tenants in Common.

What are tenants in common?

Unless otherwise specified, title to real property is presumed to be held as ‘Tenants in Common.’ In other words, Tenants in Common is the default form of co-ownership in Florida.

For example, if the title to the property lists Jane Doe and John Doe – without reference to how title is held – the title is presumed to be held as Tenants in Common. Of course, if the title states Jane Doe and John Doe, as Tenants in Common, title is held as a tenancy in common.

Tenants in Common have an equal ownership percentage in the real property, unless the ownership percentage is specified differently by an agreement between the Tenants in Common. There is no survivorship feature in a tenancy in common. So, if one Tenant passes away, that Tenant’s interest can be passed by Will or intestate succession. Further, while living, each Tenant’s ownership interest can be transferred or sold. That is one of the benefits of owning property as Tenants in Common.

Another situation where it can make sense to own property as Tenants in Common is if you are investing in real property with one or more person. That way, with proper estate planning, you can designate who inherits your ownership interest in the property upon your passing.

Another instance in which it may make sense to own real property as Tenants in Common is when a married couple is on their second or third marriage and there are children from prior marriages. With proper estate planning, the parent of the children can ensure that the property will pass to their children.

It may or may not make sense to hold title to a particular piece of real property as Tenants in Common. If you are unsure whether a Tenants in Common form of ownership is beneficial for your particular situation, consult with Mantoni Legal.

Contact Mantoni Legal:

P: (239) 687-3828 
F: (855) 740-1933
jlm@mantonilegal.com

18245 Paulson Drive
Port Charlotte, FL 33954

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