The law of survivorship – why is it important when buying a house?
Are you buying a home with your partner, sibling, parent or friend? When purchasing a property with another individual you may be asked whether you would like to own the property as a joint tenant or tenant in common.
A Joint Tenant is sometimes referred to as the right of survivorship. The “law of survivorship” says that assets such as land which are jointly owned do not have a defined interest for the joint owners. Neither owner owns a specific “share” in the land. Everyone registered on the Title owns an equal share in the whole of the land and the last surviving owner of the land will own it absolutely.
If you register as Joint Tenants, then upon the death of one Joint Tenant the survivor (or survivors) must register this death upon the Title. Upon registration, the ownership vests in the surviving Joint Tenant. The Wills of the Join Tenants will need to be prepared so that they agree with this method of registration.
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