Step-by-Step Guide to Creating and Dissolving a Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship Agreement
Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship (JTWROS) is a legal agreement that allows two or more parties to jointly own a property. In the event of one party’s death, the surviving joint tenant(s) automatically inherit the deceased’s share, bypassing the probate process. This arrangement can be beneficial for co-owners who wish to avoid potential legal complications. However, it’s crucial to understand the steps involved in creating and dissolving a JTWROS agreement.
Creating a JTWROS agreement begins with choosing the right co-owners. All parties must have an equal interest in the property, and the agreement must be created simultaneously. The co-owners should then draft a deed that clearly states their intention to create a JTWROS. This deed must specify that each party has an equal right to use the entire property and that the survivor(s) will automatically inherit the shares of any deceased co-owner(s).
The next step is to sign the deed in the presence of a notary public. It’s important to note that all parties must sign the deed, and any party can be a joint tenant, regardless of their relationship to the other co-owners. Once the deed is signed and notarized, it must be filed with the appropriate county recorder’s office or land registry office. This makes the JTWROS agreement official and publicly accessible.
While creating a JTWROS agreement can be straightforward, dissolving it can be more complex. One common method of dissolution is through a process called “severance”. This occurs when one joint tenant sells or transfers their interest in the property to another person. The transfer effectively breaks the joint tenancy, converting it into a tenancy in common, where each owner has a distinct, separately transferable interest in the property.
Another method of dissolution is through a mutual agreement between all joint tenants. This requires drafting a new deed that outlines the new ownership structure and filing it with the appropriate office, just like when the JTWROS was created.
It’s also possible to dissolve a JTWROS through a lawsuit. If the joint tenants cannot agree on how to handle the property, one or more of them can file a lawsuit asking the court to partition the property. This can result in the property being physically divided, or, if that’s not possible, sold and the proceeds divided among the owners.
Creating and dissolving a JTWROS agreement can be a complex process, requiring careful consideration and legal expertise. It’s always advisable to consult with a real estate attorney or other legal professional before entering into or dissolving such an agreement. This can help ensure that all parties’ rights are protected and that the process is carried out correctly.
In conclusion, a Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship agreement can be a beneficial arrangement for co-owners who wish to avoid potential legal complications. However, it’s crucial to understand the steps involved in creating and dissolving such an agreement. Whether you’re creating or dissolving a JTWROS, always remember to consult with a legal professional to ensure that your rights are protected and the process is carried out correctly.