UK Accounting Glossary
Joint tenants in common is a way for two or more people to share ownership of real or personal property. The main difference between property held as joint tenants in common and property held as joint tenants with right of survivorship (or JTWROS) is the treatment of that property upon the death of one of the joint tenants. Indeed, a property held as joint tenants in common, unlike a property held as JTWROS, does not pass directly to the other joint tenants(s) when one joint tenant dies. Instead, the decedent’s interest in the property passes into the decedent’s estate and is distributed according to the will. Joint tenants in common is a popular option for business partners holding property jointly. Another common usage of joint tenants in common is between a couple holding assets jointly that may have children from prior unions they wish to include in their estate. Like in a joint tenants with right of survivorship agreement, owners in a joint tenants in common ownership agreement have an undivided interest in the property, they do not, however, need to have equal ownership share. Should joint tenants in common wish to dissolve their joint tenancy, one tenant’s interest in the property held as joint tenants in common may be bought out by the other tenant(s). Another option to dissolve joint tenants in common is to sell the property held as joint tenants in common (by agreement or court order) and to divide the proceeds equitably among the joint tenants. Joint tenants in common are often referred to as tenants in common (TIC).
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This glossary post was last updated: 9th February 2020.