There are several ways to acquire or hold title to property in this state. The two most common are described as follows:
Tenancy in Common: This deed conveys title with no mention as to what would happen if one of the title holders were to die. The result is that if a title holder dies, his or her interest passes directly to his or her estate. At that point, the surviving title holder could not convey or borrower money against the interest of the deceased holder without first acquiring title from the estate. This could involve probating the will of the deceased or, if there is no will, filing for administration of the estate and dealing with Georgia laws of descent.
Joint Tenancy with Rights of Survivorship: This deed conveys title to two or more people and by reference to the Georgia statute provides that, upon the death of the first joint tenant, title to that person’s interest passes immediately and automatically to the surviving joint tenant. This process does not require any court action. The surviving joint tenant will be required to provide proof of death when he or she conveys or encumbers the property.
The choice of which deed to use may be governed by other factors such as children by a previous marriage or unequal contribution of down payment by the owners. This is an important decision and should not be made without a thorough understanding of the results that could occur. GRECAA recommends that you consult with an attorney to resolve any questions or doubts that you may have concerning this decision.