“How do you want to hold title?”
Once in contract, this will be a question that you will have to answer. In laymen’s terms, they are asking in who will be the owner(s) and what rights will each have with regard to the property, both during their life and after they die (heavy, right?). There are 3 common ways to hold title and each option comes with its own set of pros and cons. Here is some information that hopefully will make it a little easier to understand each of the most common options:
1. Community Property With Right of Survivorship
This choice would be for spouses or domestic partners and would provide equal division of interest and possession. Additionally, title would be in the name of the individual owners. If either person passes away, the decedent’s interest passes to the survivor.
2. Joint Tenancy
This choice could include any number of persons and would provide equal division of interest and possession. Also, title would be in the name of the individual owners. If any person(s) passes away, the decedent’s interest is passed onto the survivor(s).
3. Joint Tenancy in Common
This choice could include any number of parties and the parties involved could choose any number of interests, equal or unequal. Title would be in the name of the individual owners and each interest would be willable and saleable.
This choice could include any number of beneficiaries of the trust and beneficial interests under the trust could be equal or unequal. Possession would be according to the trust agreement and title would be in the name of the trustee, “as trustee”.