Whenever people own property as joint tenants, or tenants by the entireties, and one of them dies, then you clear title in the survivors with an affidavit of survivorship.
People often create joint tenancies in real estate in order to avoid probate. The joint tenants are often relatives. However, only married couples can own property as tenants by the entireties.
The way you tell what kind of tenancy you have is by looking at the deed. The deed will always have language that says something like “convey [or quitclaim] to John Doe and Jane Smith as joint tenants [or] tenants by the entireties [or] tenants in common.”
If the deed does not say any of those three things, or if it says something else, then you should call a probate lawyer.
If the deed says tenants in common, then you cannot use an affidavit of survivorship. You will Continue reading