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What are the Ways to Hold Title to Property in Massachusetts?

There are many decisions to be made during the process of purchasing a home. Although which home to buy is the first and perhaps most important, there are many others to be made which have their own importance. How to hold the title to your new property is one of these decisions. In order to make the best decision for yourself and your family, you can call our offices, or consult with your real estate attorney. There are three ways to hold title to property. They are Tenancy in Common, Joint Tenancy, and Living Trusts.

Tenancy in Common

If you choose to hold your property as a tenancy in common, this would mean that there is actually more than one owner. All owners may own equal parts of the property, or each owner may own an unequal share. The deed must specify the amount of the property that each party owns. At any time, a co-owner has the right to transfer their part of the property to another. If one co-owner should die, ownership over their part of the property would be transferred to their heirs or named beneficiary. A probate proceeding would be necessary to transfer the ownership. The remaining co-owners would retain their part of the property ownership. Tenancy in Common is a good idea for sales in which the property will have more than one owner and:

  1. One or more owners wish to leave their part of the ownership to someone other than their co-owners and/or
  2. One or more owners wish to divide the property into unequal parts.

Joint Tenancy

Like Tenancy in Common, Joint Tenancy is for situation where there is more than one owner. Unlike Tenancy in Common, however, the ownership of the property in a Joint Tenancy must be divided equally. Also unlike the Tenancy in Common, when one party of a Joint Tenancy dies, their part of the property goes to the remaining tenant(s). A probate hearing is not necessary for this. Joint Tenancy is a good idea for sale in which the property will have more than one owner and:

  1. All owners wish to have equal parts of the property and/or
  2. All owners wish to leave their ownership to their co-owners upon their death.

Living Trusts

Property can be held in a Living Trust whether there will be one owner, or multiple owners. A Living Trust can help the owners avoid probate proceedings in the event of a death. If you choose to hold your property in a Living Trust, then you will become the trustee, in charge of said property. In the Living Trust Document, your successor will be named and will become the trustee in the event of your death. Your beneficiaries will also be named in the Living Trust Document.

How you choose to hold the title to your property can have lasting effects on you and your loved ones. It is important to seek the advice of a real estate attorney before deciding which is best for you. If you have any questions about ways to hold title property, or other real estate iss

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