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Flashcards in How homestead is Held Deck (62)
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Individual Ownership:

A form of property ownership in which one person is the owner of a property and has absolute control over the distribution and use of the land


In Severalty:

Describes undivided ownership of an estate, with an interest that is exclusive from other owners


There are three basic forms of ownership.
Property can be:

Individually owned 👤
Co-owned 👥
Held in trust 🔒


Individual ownership is also called

Sole ownership


Property that is owned by a single individual is sometimes referred to as being

held in severalty.



Ownership of a property by more than one person


Joint Tenancy:

Co-ownership in which the parties have the right of survivorship — when one dies, the others receive that person's portion of the estate


Tenancy in Common:

Co-ownership in which each co-owner of the property holds their individual portion of the ownership interest in severalty


Community Property:

Property owned by a married couple in which each spouse has ½ ownership of any property obtained during the marriage, plus a right of survivorship ownership after the death of either spouse


The default way to take title as an unmarried couple is as

tenants in common (with no right of survivorship).


Let's break co-ownership down a little further.
There are three basic types:

Tenancy in common
Joint tenancy
Community property


In a tenancy in common, each co-owner of the property holds their individual portion of the ownership interest in



In a tenancy in common, each co-owner of the property holds their individual portion of the ownership interest in severalty.
This means that each individual co-owner can

sell, transfer, mortgage, or lease their interest in the property without the authorization of the other owners of the property,

as long as that owner’s actions do not endanger or abridge the rights of the other owners. And, of course, their choices must conform to state and federal laws.


right of survivorship

means that when a joint tenant dies, the surviving joint tenants inherit the deceased co-owner’s ownership interest in the property.


There are four unifying factors that distinguish a joint tenancy from other kinds of co-ownership, all of which must be present for the method of ownership to

qualify as a joint tenancy.


The Four Unities of Joint Tenancy

1) units of interest
2) unity of time
3) unity of title
4) unity of possession


Unity of title:

Joint tenants are required to acquire their property from the same transaction, and they must hold title under the same document, such as a deed or a will.


Unity of possession:

Each joint tenant has an equal right to enjoy the use of each part of the property as well as the whole of the property. No joint tenant has a right to possess any part of the property exclusively.


Unity of possession is the only unity required for

Tenants in common


Unity of interest:

All of the joint tenants’ ownership interests and rights must be equal in their extent, nature, and duration.


Unity of time:

Joint tenants are required to acquire their property ownership or ownership interests at the same time. Thus no additional joint tenants can be added to an established joint tenancy unless a contract is created defining a new joint tenancy arrangement.


For joint tenancy to be established, all the owners have to sign a written contract. In Texas, tenancy in common is the

default position if nothing is specified.


Only the following states recognize community property laws:

New Mexico


Community property laws do not govern property that is received by an individual as an inheritance or gift and they do not apply to property acquired prior to the marriage. All such property is considered

Separate property


if one spouse rents out their separate property, that income is considered

community property (unless there is an agreement specifying otherwise).


Texas Law of Descent and Distribution determines

who gets what share of a deceased person's property.

Distribution depends on whether the person is married, has children, and/or has surviving parents or siblings.


Living Trust:

A trust created during someone’s life to manage their assets in life and in death


Testamentary Trust:

A trust created through the use of a will when someone dies


Land Trust:

A trust in which land is purchased to be held for a long period of time for the benefit of a named party


Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT):

An account in which 100 people or more place funds for the trust to invest in real property and then return the profits back to the investors