At some point in the process of buying a home you are going to be asked how you want to “hold title”.
Here are four common ways to hold title to real property in Washington State:
1) Single Individual – A person who is not married or a registered domestic partner.
2) Separate Property – A person who is married or a registered domestic partnership who holds title without a spouse or registered domestic partner. A quit Claim Deed will often be required by the title company from the spouse of partner not going on title.
3) Tenancy In Common – Two or more people have interests (not as community property or joint tenants) in the property. The individual interests do not need to be equal, but the sum total of the interests must equal 100%. The interests of each tenant-in-common pases to his or her heir(s) upon death.
4) Joint Tenancy – Two or more people have equal interests in the property and the deed by which they take title must specify that the property is “held as joint tenants, with rights of survivorship”. Unlike tenancy-in-common, when a co-owner dies, his or her ownership interest automatically passes to the other co-owner(s).
Choosing how you want to hold title is an important detail to figure out prior to closing. Be sure to have a conversation with your agent, Title Company and/or an attorney if you have any questions or concerns.