Friday, January 12, 2007

Estate law

Estates may also be held jointly as joint tenants with rights of survivorship or as tenants in common. The difference in these two types of joint ownership of an estate in land is basically the inheritability of the estate. In joint tenancy (or in marriage this is sometimes called tenancy of the entirety) the surviving tenant (or tenants) become the sole owner (or owners) of the estate. Nothing passes to the heirs of the deceased tenant. In some jurisdictions the magic words "with right of survivorship" must be used or the tenancy will assumed to be tenants in common. Tenants in common will have a heritable portion of the estate in proportion to their ownership interest which is presumed to be equal amongst tenants unless otherwise stated in the transfer deed. There are other types of estates in land that are used to prevent the alienation of land (also used in the law of trusts). Generally these are called future interests, an example being the rule against perpetuities. See also the Rule in Shelley's Case.
Real property may not only be owned it may be leased in which the possession of the property is given to the tenant for a limited period of time. Such leases are also called estates such as an estate for years, a periodic tenancy or an estate at will.
Real property may also be owned jointly through the device of the condominium or cooperative.