Holding of Title



Tenancy In Common

Joint Tenancy

Community Property with Right of Survivorship Community Property

Any number of persons (can be husband and wife).


Any number of persons (can be husband and wife). Only husband and wife, registered domestic partners or same sex couple Only husband and wife
Division Ownership can be divided into any number of interests, equal or unequal.

Ownership interests are equal and cannot be transferred without severing the joint tenancy.


Ownership interest is equal Ownership interests are equal.

Each co-owner has a separate legal title to his undivided interest.


There is only one title to the whole property.

Title is in the "community".  Each interest is separate Title is in the "Community" (Similar to title being in a partnership).

Equal right of possession.


Equal right of possession. Both co-owners have equal possession Equal right of possession.

Each co-owner's interest may be conveyed separately by its owner.


Conveyance by one co-owner without the other breaks the joint tenancy. Real property requires written consent of other spouse, and with separate interest cannot be conveyed except upon death Both co-owners must join in conveyance of real property. Separate interests can not be conveyed.
Purchaser's Status Purchaser becomes a tenant in common with other co-owners.

Joint tenant can transfer his/her interest to another party, who then becomes a Tenant in Common with the remaining Joint Tenants.



On co-owner's death, his interest passes by will to his devisees or heirs. No survivorship right.


On co-owner's death, his interest ends and cannot be willed. Survivor owns the property by survivorship. On co-owners death the entire tenancy remains to the survivor.  This right of survivorship is one of the primary incident of community property with right of survivorship On co-owner's death, 1/2 goes to the survivor in severalty. Up to 1/2 goes by will or succession to others. (Consult attorney with specific questions).
Successor's Status

Devisees or heirs become tenants in common.


Last survivor owns property in severalty. If passing by Will, tenancy in common between devisee and survivor results If passing by will, tenancy in common between devisee and survivor results.
Creditor's Rights Co-owner's interest may be sold on execution sale to satisfy his creditor. Creditor becomes a tenant in common. Co-owner's interest may be sold on execution sale to satisfy creditor. Joint tenancy is broken, creditor becomes tenant in common. Property of community is liable for contracts of either spouse which are made after marriage and prior to or after January 1, 1975.  Co-owner's interest can note be sold separately; whole property may be sold on execution to satisfy creditor

Co-owner's interest cannot be seized and sold separately. The whole property may be sold to satisfy debts of either husband or wife, depending on the debt (Consult attorney with specific questions).


Presumption Favored in doubtful cases except husband and wife (See Community Property). Must be expressly stated and properly formed. Not favored.  

Property acquired during marriage is presumed to be community property.