So you’ve gotten married and are now making two separate lives one. This is an exciting time, but with it comes decisions. Where shall we live? Should we buy a new home? Who should be the titled owner of the property? Perhaps one of you came into the marriage already owning a house and you’ve chosen to make that the marital home. Should my spouse be added to the deed? How can I best protect my family and home? In many states, there is a unique option available to married couples that you may want to consider.

When two or more people share ownership of real property it creates what is called a “concurrent estate”. There are several forms of this concurrent estate that can be chosen and established through specific language in your deed. One form in particular is available only to married couples. It is called a tenancy by the entirety. For a property to be held in this manner both spouses must be on the deed. Under this form of ownership the married couple as a whole is seen to own the property rather than the individuals holding a specific interest.

There can be benefits to tenancy by the entirety ownership. For example, in Pennsylvania, if your spouse were to be sued and a judgment entered against them, your home would be protected because creditors of one spouse cannot pursue real estate owned by tenants by the entirety. If you and your spouse live in New Jersey and own your home as tenants by the entirety, the property will pass automatically to your spouse upon your death without the need for probate or a new deed.

While the types of ownership available may vary from state to state, Terra Abstract has the knowledge and experience necessary to implement your choice of ownership to the best fit your unique circumstances in this new stage of your life.