Holding Title

Different Ways To Hold Title

There are different types of tenancy for individuals (how people can hold title) in Michigan. The types and characteristics include:

 Tenants in common:

  • The most common form of ownership in Michigan. If no tenancy is indicated, it is assumed to create a tenancy in common
  • Each party has an individual ownership interest in a portion of the property and the right to use the whole
  • Can be equal or unequal ownership interests
  • Does not provide for survivorship rights
  • Dower attaches

Joint tenants:

  • Provides for survivorship rights
  • Dower does not attach
  • One joint tenant can convey his interest to a 3rd party The joint tenancy is severed and the parties become tenants in common

Joint tenants with full rights of survivorship:

  • Same characteristics as joint tenants, except that survivorship may not be severed by a conveyance out to a 3rd party from less than all parties
  • No dower attaches
  • If one joint tenant conveys to a 3rd party, the 3rd party only gets a life estate with a contingent remainder. The joint tenant that conveyed the interest must survive the other remaining joint tenant in order for the 3rd party to acquire a fee interest. If the conveying joint tenant dies before the other remaining joint tenant, the 3rd party’s interest is automatically terminated

Tenants by the Entirety. Only available for a husband and wife:

  • “Best” type of tenancy—most difficult to break
  • Assumed if at the time of acquisition a man and woman are husband and wife, even if no mention on the deed is made
  • Not automatically created if parties become married after they acquire title
  • Neither husband nor wife can convey to a 3rd party without the other joining
  • Husband and wife have to convey on the same instrument, although the document may be executed and notarized in two separate locations

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