When purchasing property in Queensland, you have the option to hold the property either as “joint tenants” or as “tenants in common.” These are two different ways of holding co-ownership of property, each with its own implications and characteristics.
When you hold a property as joint tenants, all owners have an equal and undivided interest in the entire property. This means that each owner has an equal share of the property, and there is a “right of survivorship.” In the event that one owner passes away, their share automatically transfers to the surviving owner(s) without the need for a will or probate. This arrangement is often chosen by couples or family members who want to ensure that if one owner passes away, the surviving owner(s) will automatically inherit the deceased owner’s share.
Tenants in Common
When holding a property as tenants in common, each owner has an ownership share, which does not have to be equal. For example, one owner might have a 60% share, and another might have a 40% share, or you may hold the property in equal shares (50/50) as tenants in common. The key difference between holding an equal share as tenants in common over joint tenants is the absence of an automatic right of survivorship. If one owner passes away, their share of the property will be passed on according to their will or, if there is no will, through the rules of intestacy (please see more information on the rules of intestacy here – link to https://thesmallbusinesslawyer.com.au/what-happens-if-i-die-without-a-will-in-queensland/). This arrangement is often chosen by individuals or co-owners who want more flexibility in how they leave their share of the property to their heirs or beneficiaries.
It is important that you consider the ownership type that suits your circumstances and intentions best. The choice between joint tenancy and tenancy in common can have implications with respect to inheritance, estate planning, and selling the property in the future.
Be sure to discuss this with your legal or financial advisor to make an informed decision based on your specific needs and goals. The Small Business Lawyer is available to provide advice on the best ownership position for your circumstances. Book a free 20 minute consult with one of our experience conveyancing staff at a time convenient to you.