What is the Difference Between Joint Tenants and Tenants in Common?

Multiple owners of a property are typically known as “tenants in common” or “joint tenants.” When owners are joint tenants there is a right of survivorship. This mean that if my brother and I co-own property as joint tenants and I die, my brother becomes the 100% owner of the property. If we co-own the property as equal tenants in common and I die, my half of the property (or 50% of the ownership) passes to my heirs and my brother’s 50% remains unchanged.

When a tenant in common dies, a probate may be required to determine who gets the deceased co-owner’s interest in the property. Sometimes a deed does not specify whether co-owners are joint tenants or tenants in common. Minnesota law says that in such a scenario the co-owners are tenants in common.

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