The term “title” refers to the bundle of rights that the legitimate titleholder has over a piece of property, such as the right to possess, control, enjoy, or dispose of that asset. Unlike a deed, the title of a property is not a physical document.
When a property is sold, gifted, or conveyed by any legal means, the title of the property must be transferred to the new owner. In this article, you will find out the most common ways to hold the title of a property in Florida.
How to Hold Title in Florida – Taking a Closer Look
As its name suggests, this form of ownership happens when one individual owns all rights, title, and interest to a property in Florida. Even married individuals may hold title separately from a spouse. In such a case, the spouse cannot lay ownership claims to the property.
The sole owner of a Florida property is free to sell, give, or donate it. Upon the owner’s death, the transfer of the property occurs based on his or her wishes expressed in the last will.
If the owner dies without a will, the property’s inheritance is governed by Florida intestacy law, which establishes an order of preference for heirs.
Tenancy By The Entirety
This type of tenancy is exclusively available to married couples in Florida. Under tenancy by the entirety, a husband and a wife hold title to the whole property with rights of survivorship.
If one of the spouses dies, the surviving spouse automatically owns the entire property. Properties held under tenancy by the entirety are usually deeded as “Spouse A and Spouse B, husband and wife.”
Neither of the spouses can transfer an interest in the property without the other joining in consent. In the event of divorce, a property held under tenancy by the entirety may be held under tenancy in common.
Tenancy in Common
When one or more individuals own property under tenancy in common, they hold an undivided interest with no rights of survivorship. Unless expressly provided in the deed, each tenant has an equal fractional interest in the property.
If one of the co-tenants dies, the other tenant has no automatic right to his or her fractional share of interest. Instead, the share of the deceased tenant will pass to his or her heirs and devisees.
Joint Tenancy with Rights of Survivorship
A property held under the joint tenancy with rights of survivorship permits individuals to hold an undivided interest in a piece of land. However, if one of the joint tenants dies, the surviving tenant has a right of survivorship over the decedent’s interest in the property.
Joint tenants must pay attention to the language used to deed the property. If the document does not expressly contain language to indicate “rights of survivorship,” the ownership may be deemed “tenancy in common.”
In this form of ownership, a joint tenancy is free to transfer or encumber his or her fractional interest in the property while he or she is still alive. However, it does not permit a joint tenant to leave his interest in the property to anyone other than the surviving joint tenants.