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Must-Know Information for Married Owners of Real Estate — Tenancy by the Entirety

On Behalf of | Nov 20, 2020 | Firm News |

This article is of special importance to married couples who jointly own property. Have you ever considered what would happen to your home or land if just one of you needed to file bankruptcy?

The following prefatory remarks are written by Bankruptcy Advocates attorney Marcus Herbert.

“If you are married and you jointly own land with your spouse you should strongly consider making sure your deed states “the property is held in tenancy by the entirety with rights of survivorship by the grantees who are married at the time of the execution of this deed.”  If the deed does not currently have that language, consult a qualified attorney about having a new deed drawn up that would so state.  Bankruptcy Advocates can do this for you.

“This is usually the best way to hold title because it protects you from possibly losing the land to any judgment creditor to which only one of you owes a debt.  It would not protect your land from creditors to whom both spouses are indebted. 

“In over 25 years of practicing bankruptcy law, I have observed that this legal device would have been critical to saving many clients tens of thousands of dollars owed to judgment creditors of just one spouse in a married couple.”

We learn more about Tenancy by the Entirety from James Chen in his article published by Investopedia. In part, the article first helps define Tenancy by the Entirety.

Tenancy by the Entirety

What Is Tenancy by the Entirety?

The term tenancy by the entirety refers to a form of shared property ownership that is reserved only for married couples. A tenancy by the entirety essentially permits spouses to jointly own property as a single legal entity. This means that each spouse has an equal and undivided interest in the property. This form of legal ownership creates a right of survivorship so if one spouse dies, the surviving spouse automatically receives the full title of the property.

Key Takeaways

  • Tenancy by the entirety is a form of property ownership reserved only for married couples.
  • Each spouse has a legal right to an equal portion of the property provided they were married at the time title was received in both their names.
  • This arrangement creates a right of survivorship, so when one spouse dies, their interest in the property is automatically transferred to the surviving spouse.
  • Creditors cannot enforce a lien on any property that falls under a tenancy by the entirety if only one spouse owns the debt.

We invite you to read the entire article, to learn more about the legal ramifications of Tenancy by the Entirety, how it works and the special considerations.

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Southern Illinois Bankruptcy Attorney law firm Bankruptcy Advocates is located in Carbondale and serves a wide geographic community including Carbondale, Murphysboro, Marion, West Frankfort, Johnston City, Benton, Herrin, DuQuoin, and Pickneyville. We are a debt relief agency. Our southern Illinois bankruptcy attorneys help people file for relief under the Bankruptcy Code. Give us a call at 618-549-9800 or email us at [email protected]  to speak about your case or legal matter. Convenient appointment times are available.