Anytime real property is transferred from one party to another by way of sale or gift, the receiving party has a number of options regarding how the property is to be titled. When a voluntary conveyance of title occurs by a living seller or giver, it is referred to as voluntary alienation. If the seller or giver is not alive, the property is conveyed through a will.
The way in which you own property is referred to as the way you hold title to the property. The way in which you choose to hold title has certain consequences that effect legal ownership and how the property can be transferred in the event of your death.
Sole ownership is the simplest way to hold title to real property. Simply put, you hold all the rights to the property. This type of ownership is typically used by an un-married person. Although, a married person can claim sole ownership if the spouse will sign a quit claim deed that denies the spouse any rights to the property.
Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship
Under this method of ownership, each person owns an equal share and, if one party dies, their share is transferred entirely to the survivor regardless of a valid will. This form of ownership requires 4 distinct unities:
If one of the joint tenants either sells or conveys their interest, the joint tenancy is declared broken and a tenancy in common is created. One tenant cannot prevent another tenant from breaking the joint tenancy. This form of ownership is common for married couples.