Are there different ways married couples hold property?
After marriage, there are many ways of owning property, but they are governed by the state, so they vary slightly based on where you live. Generally speaking, the options are:
Sole tenancy, where one individual in the marriage has ownership. The property is passed on in accordance with the will at death.
Joint tenancy, with joint right of survivorship. This is where all parties (which can be a married couple, or a larger group) have equal ownership. In the case of a married couple, the property is passed automatically to the joint living owner upon the death of the other partner. This can be used effectively to avoid probate.
Tenancy in common, property has joint ownership with the privilege of survivorship, which sounds similar to joint tenancy, but in this case, the property is passed on according to you will.
Tenancy by the entirety, like joint tenancy, has the privilege of survivorship. The stipulation here is that tenancy by entirety doesn’t allow a spouse to get rid of the property without the other’s consent, and it is only available for spouses.
Community property, property that is gained through marriage that has equal ownership. States such as AZ, CA, ID, LA, NV, NM, TX, WA, and WI allow community property.
Be sure to consult your attorney regarding such important financial assets.