Marriage and Real Estate: A Brief Tour

When two married people own real estate together, how do their rights work? Here, we walk though the most basic questions about couples and their homes.

How Do Married Couples Share Home Ownership?

Image of a couple under an umbrella walking down a path towards a house appearing to be in a wedding, getting married. Captioned: Marriage and Real Estate

Spouses own a home in one of three ways:

  • As a tenancy by the entirety,
  • A joint tenancy with survivorship rights, or
  • A tenancy in common.

The first two of those include rights of survivorship. This means that after one spouse passes away, the living spouse records an affidavit of survivorship along with the late spouse’s death certificate, and then becomes the sole owner on the title. Here are the unique traits of each type of vesting: 

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