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Concurrent Estates

Concurrent estates are those that are either owned or possessed by two or more individuals simultaneously. The three most common types of concurrent estates are JOINT TENANCY, TENANCY BY THE ENTIRETY, and TENANCY IN COMMON.

Joint Tenancy A joint tenancy is a type of concurrent ownership whereby property is acquired by two or more persons at the same time and by the same instrument. A typical conveyance of such a tenancy would be "Grantor conveys Blackacre to A, B, and C and their heirs in fee simple absolute." The main feature of a joint tenancy is the RIGHT OF SURVIVORSHIP.If any one of the joint tenants dies, the remainder goes to the survivors, and the entire estate goes to the last survivor.

In a joint tenancy, there are four unities, those of interest, time, title, and possession.

Unity of interest means that each joint tenant owns an undivided interest in the property as a whole. No one joint tenant can have a larger share than any of the others.

Unity of time signifies that the estates of each of the joint tenants is vested for exactly the same period.

Unity of title indicates that the joint tenants hold their property under the same title.

Unity of possession requires that each of the joint tenants must take the same undivided possession of the property as a whole and enjoy the same rights until one of the joint tenants dies.

Tenancy by the Entirety A tenancy by the entirety is a form of joint tenancy arising between a HUSBAND AND WIFE,whereby each spouse owns the undivided whole of the property, with the right of survivorship.

A tenancy by the entirety can be created by will or deed but not by descent and distribution. It is distinguishable from a joint tenancy in that neither party can voluntarily dispose of his or her interest in the property. There is unity of title, possession, interest, time, and person.

Tenancy in Common A tenancy in common is a form of concurrent ownership that can be created by deed or will, or by operation of law, in which two or more individuals possess property simultaneously. A typical conveyance of this type of tenancy would be "Grantor, owner of Blackacre in fee simple absolute, grants to A, B, and C, and their heirs—each taking one-third interest in the property."

In the preceding illustration, A, B, and C are tenants in common. There is no right of survivorship in such a tenancy, and each grantee has the right to dispose of his or her share by deed or by will.

In a tenancy in common, one of the tenants may have a larger share of the property than the others. In addition, the tenants in common may take the same property by several titles. The only unity present in a tenancy in common is unity of possession.

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