Understanding different types of joint ownership

There are two different kinds of joint ownership that can apply when you own a property with someone else:

  • Joint Tenancy, with rights of survivorship: In this case, when either property owner dies, their share passes directly to the other owner. It doesn’t go through the other owner’s estate first. That means estate administration (probate) fees won’t be due on the property as part of settling the estate.
  • Tenants in common: Each owner keeps their one-half interest. With this form of ownership, each owner says, in their own will, who will inherit ownership of their portion of the property. Probate fees will be payable on the property because what the owner wants to happen to their ownership share is addressed in their will.