Submitted by admin on Fri, 12/26/2008 - 09:35
Closing on a house next week (hopefully) and the closing attorney said something about tenancy by the entirety. Is that a Massachusetts legal term, or what does it mean? (Posted by Lunchman on The Forum.)
In Massachusetts, a tenancy by the entirety is a joint tenancy (or ownership) that arises between a husband and wife when a single instrument (a) conveys property to both of them and (b) says nothing about the type or form of ownership. Some characteristics of the tenancy by the entirety under Massachusetts law:
(1) This form of ownership can only arise between husband and wife. (Given that Massachusetts recognizes same sex marriage, perhaps I should say between married couples): (2) The husband and wife must acquire their interest through the same deed or will; (3) When either the husband or wife dies, the survivor automatically acquires title to the other's share of the property (unlike a tenancy in common, where two or more persons own undivided share with equal rights to possess the entire property, but there is no right of survivorship); and (4) If the couple divorces, the tenancy by the entirety is converted into a tenancy in common (no right of survivorship).