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What Are the Different Ways to Hold Title?

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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