Tenants in Common
In Washington state, a domestic partnership or married couple are considered to hold their property as tenants in common unless they specify it as a joint tenancy. All tenants in common have equal rights to possess the property, but they do not have the right of survivorship. Right of survivorship only comes with joint tenancies.
A joint tenancy occurs when two or more co-owners who have the same size shares in the property are given possession by the same document. This document must clearly state that the agreement is a joint tenancy or it will be assumed that the owners are tenants in common.
One exception to the joint tenancy law is bank accounts. In order for a bank account to have the right of survivorship, it must be opened as a "Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship" account and not just as a "Joint Account" or a "Joint Tenancy" account.
- "Black's Law Dictionary" 8th Edition; Bryan A Garner, Editor in Chief; 2004
- Washington State Legislature: Revised Code of Washington (RCW)
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