Property ownership can take several forms. How the property is titled may affect the way in which the property is used or passed to a new owner. This is a big question when it comes to wealth preservation through real estate.
The concepts discussed below are general in nature and may be otherwise affected by statutory and Constitutional restrictions if the subject property is Florida homestead property. Read on to learn more about how to title Florida real estate.
This term means the owner has full and complete ownership of the property. As such, the owner can sell or otherwise convey the property to another person or entity (but keep in mind these rights may be limited if the property in question is Florida homestead property). When the owner dies, the property passes to heirs or beneficiaries. Fee simple may also be referred to as sole ownership.
Tenancy in Common.
Property titled this way is owned by more than one person or entity. The owners share interest in the property, but the shares do not have to be equal. Also, each owner has the right to sell their interest without permission from the other owners. An owner’s interest can pass through his or her estate.
Two friends, Keith and Meredith recently purchased a plot of land as tenants in common. They later had a falling out about how to use the land. Meredith sold her ownership interest to someone who answered an ad she posted on craigslist.com. Keith had little or no say about the new owner.
This common type of ownership also involves joint owners. However, the owners must show an interest in owning the property with “right of survivorship.” This can be accomplished by adding the words “as joint tenants with rights of survivorship” to the deed. If one owner dies, the surviving owner takes full ownership of the property. Like tenancy in common, co-owners can transfer their property interest. Owners are not permitted to pass their share to heirs through a Will or a Trust.
Consider, instead, that Keith and Meredith owned their property as joint tenants with rights of survivorship. Meredith passes away. Her children expect to receive her share of the property. Instead, Keith became the sole owner of the property.
In this case, the owners must be husband and wife. Each of them is considered to have full ownership of the property. However, neither of them can convey nor transfer the property without the other spouse’s approval without severing the tenancy by the entirety. Upon the death of one spouse, the survivor has full ownership interest.
As a married couple, Keith and Meredith could have titled the land as tenants by the entirety. At some point, Meredith decides to sell her ownership to a good friend. Keith objects, so the sale falls through.
As a Florida attorney board certified in Wills, Trusts & Estates, Attorney John Mangan offers effective estate planning to his clients. To schedule an appointment, call us at 772-324-9050 or fill out our Contact Form. Our office is conveniently located in Palm City, Florida.