The way that you hold title to your property has legal, tax, and estate-planning consequences. Many buyers do not receive adequate professional advice on this important aspect of property ownership.
If you are purchasing property by yourself, you will be acquiring title by sole (or "separate") ownership, single ownership, or severalty ownership. The term "severalty" does not denote more than one person - it is a legal term meaning that sole ownership is severed from all other forms of ownership.
If you are purchasing property with others, the most common forms of co-ownership are tenancy in common, joint tenancy, and community property. Tenants in common can be created when two or more related or unrelated people hold title to a property either equally or unequally. Each individual has the right to do whatever he wishes with his interest in the property. For example, he can sell his interest, give it away, or will it to someone else.
Before you take title, you should seek advice from your tax advisor and an attorney, particularly if you are buying the property with another person.
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