Tenancy by the Entirety
TENANCY BY THE ENTIRETY
A type of concurrent estate in real property held by ahusband and wifewhereby each owns the undivided whole of the property, coupled with theright of survivorship, so that upon the death of one, the survivor is entitled to the decedent's share.
A tenancy by the entirety allows spouses to own property together as a single legal entity. Under a tenancy by the entirety, creditors of an individual spouse may not attach and sell the interest of a debtor spouse: only creditors of the couple may attach and sell the interest in the property owned by tenancy by the entirety.
There are three types of concurrent ownership, or ownership of property by two or more persons: tenancy by the entirety, joint tenancy, and tenancy in common. A tenancy by the entirety can be created only by married persons. A married couple may choose to create a joint tenancy or a tenancy in common. In most states a married couple is presumed to take title to property as tenants by the entirety, unless the deed or conveyancing document states otherwise.
The most important difference between a tenancy by the entirety and a joint tenancy or tenancy in common is that a tenant by the entirety may not sell or give away his interest in the property without the consent of the other tenant. Upon the death of one of the spouses, the deceased spouse's interest in the property devolves to the surviving spouse, and not to other heirs of the deceased spouse. This is called the right of survivorship.
Tenants in common do not have a right of survivorship. In a tenancy in common, persons may sell or give away their ownership interest. Joint tenants do have a right of survivorship, but a joint tenant may sell or give away her interest in the property. If a joint tenant sells her interest in a joint tenancy, the tenancy becomes a tenancy in common, and no tenant has a right of survivorship. A tenancy by the entirety cannot be reduced to a joint tenancy or tenancy in common by a conveyance of property. Generally, the couple must divorce, obtain an annulment, or agree to amend the title to the property to extinguish a tenancy by the entirety.
Kurtz, Sheldon F., and Herbert Hovenkamp. 2003. Cases and Materials on American Property Law. 4th ed. St. Paul, Minn.: West.
"Tenancy by the Entirety." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. . Encyclopedia.com. (March 26, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/law/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/tenancy-entirety
"Tenancy by the Entirety." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. . Retrieved March 26, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/law/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/tenancy-entirety
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.