Pros & Cons of Taking Title as Joint Tenants with Survivorship Rights

“Joint tenancy with rights of survivorship” is a form of property ownership where two or more people own property simultaneously. This type of joint ownership provides several benefits, but also has some disadvantages as well.

The primary reason property owners elect a joint tenancy form of ownership is for its rights of survivorship. This means that if one of the owners dies, the property then passes automatically to the other owner(s) without the need for probate.

How to Create a Joint Tenancy With Rights of Survivorship

To create a joint tenant with rights of survivorship, the owners must:

  • Have an equal ownership interest; and
  • Become joint owners via the same deed and at the same time.

There must also be survivorship language in the deed. Without the survivorship language on the face of the deed, the “right of survivorship” cannot be created.

Advantages of a Joint Tenancy With Rights of Survivorship

  • Avoid Probate: The primary benefit of owning property as joint tenants with the right of survivorship is to avoid probate. Probate is a costly and time-consuming court process used to distribute the assets of a deceased person to their heirs. It is best avoided if possible. Another popular deed type in Florida that avoids probate is the Enhanced Life Estate Deed, also known as the Lady Bird Deed.
  • Survivorship Rights: When the first property owner dies, the property then passes directly to the surviving owner(s), who then remove the deceased person from title simply by recording their death certificate.
  • Profit Sharing: Any rents or profits the property generates are usually shared by the joint owners, unless they agree otherwise.

Disadvantages of a Joint Tenancy With Rights of Survivorship

  • Exposure to Creditors: One joint tenant’s creditors may be able to go after the property to satisfy that joint tenant’s debts. Thus, a lien can be attached to the property.
  • No Inheritance Rights: If the person who you hold title with as joint tenants with rights of survivorship is not the same person that you wish to have your share of the property when you pass, then you will need to change the ownership structure and explore other types of Florida deeds
  • Permission Required: Joint tenants must get permission from other owners before making certain changes, such as placing a mortgage on the property. 

How Farshchian Law Can Help

Farshchian Law assists individuals with a variety of Florida real estate and estate planning matters. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us by calling (800) 604-1871 or by emailing us at Info@JFRealEstateLaw.comWe offer real estate, deed & title transfer, and estate planning services throughout the State of Florida.