Choice of Tenancy

An undivided ownership interest by one person with no other party having a right or interest in or to the property.

An undivided ownership by both husband and wife, with the right to the entire property passing to the surviving spouse upon the death of one (1) spouse.

An equal ownership interest by all parties named on the Deed with rights of ownership vesting in the survivor of all owners.

Example:  Andy, Beth and Charles own Black Acre one-third each (1/3rd each).  If Beth dies, Andy and Charles will each own one-half (1/2) of Black Acre

An individual ownership interest in a portion of the property (either equal or unequal) with another party and sharing a common interest and right to use as to the whole. Tenants in Common does not provide for survivorship.  Thus, a will is recommended to identify the recipient of the ownership interest upon the death of on (1) of the owners.

Example 1:  Andy, Beth and Charles own Black Acre.  Beth owns seventy percent (70%), Andy owns twenty percent (20%), and Charles owns ten percent (10%).  Charles dies.  Charles had a will which states that his interest should pass to his mother, Charlene.  Charlene no owns ten percent (10%) interest in Black Acre.  If Charles dies without a will, his ten percent (10%) interest shall pass according to the laws of the State of Virginia.

Example 2:  Andy and Beth are married but own Black Acre with Charles.  Andy and Beth own sixty percent (60%) interest in Black Acre, which they hold as Tenants by the Entirety.  Charles owns forty percent (40%) interest in Black Acre.  As between Charles and the unit made up of Andy and Beth, the parties own Black Acre as Tenants in Common, for forty percent (40%) to Charles and sixty percent (60%) to Andy and Beth jointly.