Carefully consider how you intend to take title of your property. This will determine your legal status, rights, and obligations to the property. You may want to discuss your options with an attorney to determine which is best for you. Most of the possible ways to take title to your property are listed here.
In a community-property state, there is a statutory presumption that all property acquired by a husband and wife is community property. Some states do not presume community property status unless you acquire title as such. Community property is a co-ownership method for married persons only. Upon the death of a spouse, the deceased spouse's interest in the property will pass by either a will or interstate succession.
Community Property With Right of Survivorship
This is a method of co-ownership that allows a married couple to hold title as husband and wife while providing for succession outside of probate upon the death of either spouse to convey or encumber. Both halves of the community property are entitled to a "stepped up" tax basis as of the date of death.
Title may be taken in the name of a corporation provided that the corporation is duly formed and in good standing in the state of its incorporation.
Title may be taken in the name of a general partnership provided that the general partnership was duly formed according to the laws of the state. A partnership is defined as a voluntary association of two or more persons as co-owners in a business for profit.
Title may be taken in the name of a limited partnership provided that there are one or more general partners and one or more limited partners. A certificate of limited partnership must be filed in the office of the Secretary of State, a certified copy of which must be recorded.
Joint Tenancy With Right of Survivorship
Joint tenancy is a method of co-ownership that gives title to the real property to the last survivor. Title to real property can be acquired by two or more individuals. If a married couple acquires title as joint tenants with the right of survivorship, they must specifically accept the joint tenancy to avoid the presumption of community property.
Sole and Separate
Title to real property owned by a spouse before marriage or any acquired after marriage by gift, descent, or specific intent may be taken as sole and sparate. If a married person acquired title as sole-and-separate property, his/her spouse must execute a disclaimer deed if the state is a community-property state.
Tenancy in Common
Tenancy in common is a method of co-ownership in which parties do not have survivorship rights and each owns a specific undivided interest in the entire title.