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CEO’s Corner October 2021

joe crutchfield
Joe Crutchfield, CEO of Investors Title

I have to say that fall is my favorite time of the year. It’s time to start gearing up for the holidays, begin reflecting on the past year and think about the new upcoming year. 

For us at Investors Title Company, fall is the time of year when we look at what type of training we need and where we can make improvements. So, if you have any thoughts or feedback, let us know! 

Ways That Buyers Acquire Titles 

This newsletter’s topic is one of the most common questions we get asked: “What are ways buyers can take a title?” 

Way Number 1: Tenants by the Entirety 

If it’s a married couple, the answer to this question is straightforward. The couple acquires the title on the deed from the seller together as a married couple which means they own the property as Tenants by the Entirety (don’t ask me why it’s called Tenancy by the Entirety, it just is). Upon the death of one spouse, the surviving spouse owns the entire property.

Way Number 2: Tenants in Common

If one of the individuals from the marriage has children from a previous marriage, there may be a marital agreement regarding property and assets. 

What if the couple doesn’t want the survivor to own the property? They might want to own individual interests that can pass to their children or estate upon their death. In that instance, they would own the property as Tenants in Common.

Tenants in Common means each individual would own one-half. Upon the death of one individual, their one-half interest would be part of that deceased owner’s estate. A Tenancy in Common is created very simply by listing the buyers on the deed and stating “as Tenants in Common” after their names.  

Way Number 3: Joint Tenancy

Another common scenario is where two individuals are purchasing property, and while they aren’t married yet, they plan to get married or perhaps are already engaged. While they can’t own the property as Tenants by the Entirety since only married individuals have that option, they can still set up their ownership so that they each have survivorship rights should the other pre-decease them. 

This type of ownership is called Joint Tenancy and is easy to create by simply stating “… as Joint Tenants with right of survivorship and not as Tenants in Common” after their names on the deed from the seller.  

The determining factor in choosing a tenancy is what a buyer wants to happen to their interest when they die. Some people think it’s a bit morbid, but there it is. 

Additionally, we receive other common questions that involve Beneficiary Deeds, Life Estates and Trusts, but I’ll discuss those in a later post.

I hope everyone has a great fall and holiday season. I’m glad we live where the seasons actually do change dramatically. It’s good to have something like the seasons you can really count on. Like, the sun always rises in the east and no one out Pizzas the Hut.

Anyway, thanks to all of our clients who have helped make 2021 another great year and we wish you nothing but success.