Whether you're buying a home here in Venice or any other area of Florida, a question that customers frequently ask me is "How should I title my property?". I asked Beverly Klante from Integrity Title Services in Venice to shed some light on the subject and she sent me over the following information on common ways in which more than one party may hold title.
Tenants by the Entirety: Only a married couple may hold title in this manner. Provided the couple remains continuously married, the surviving spouse becomes the 100% owner of the property upon the death of their spouse. Except for the federal tax liens, a judgment must be agains both spouses for it to attach as a lien against the property. If the couple divorces, title automatically becomes tenants in common and judgments attach to the amount of their interest in the property.
Tenants in Common: Title can be held by two or more individuals or legal entities in equal or unequal percentages of ownership. Upon the death of one of the owners, their interest passes under the terms of their will and not automatically to the other people with whom they are in title. Judments against anyone in the title attach up to the amount of their interest in the property.
Joint Tenants with Rights of Survivorship: Title must be held in equal interests (i.e. 50-50, 25-25-25-25) by individuals. Title passes automatically to co-owners upon death of any owner. Judgment against any party attaches up to the amount of their ownership interest in the property.
Life Estate with Remainder Interest: Title passes automatically to the holder of the remainder interest ("invested remainder-man") upon the death of the holder of the life estate. All holders of the life estate and remainder interest must execute the required instruments if the property is being sold or mortgaged. Judgments against owners of the life estate and remainders' interest attach as liens.
Disclaimer: No legal advice or suggestions are being given as to the preferable way to hold title. It is recommended that you consult with your own attorney prior to deciding how to title a property. An assignment of contract will be required if parties other than the ones named as purchasers under the contract are to be in title. Spouses of parties in title will be required to execute deeds or mortgages in the event of the property being conveyed or mortgaged, if it is the principal residence of the title holder.
Hopefully you found this blog post to be helpful and if you have any other title questions, please contact Beverly at Integrity Title:
Beverly Klante, Title Agent
Integrity Title Services, Inc.
4130 Woodmere Park Blvd, Suite 10, Venice, FL 34293