Georgia Tenancy Explained

Title to real estate is held singularly or jointly and in Georgia, although it may sound a bit archaic, an owner of real estate is also called a "tenant", or "co-tenant" if there is more than one owner.  When multiple owners are involved, it becomes important to understand the two basic types of tenancies recognized in Georgia, since tenancy has serious estate consequences, should a co-owner die. Although other types of ownership are available, the most two common forms of tenancy in Georgia are the joint tenancy and tenancy in common.


Did You Know that Tenancy Can be Changed at Any Time?
Sometimes life or estate plans change and it becomes necessary to switch the tenancy. At Georgia Title, we can evaluate the status of your property, and assist with changes, if needed.

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Questions? Speak with a Real Estate Lawyer
CHRIS PAHL
Attorney at Law
3575 Piedmont Road
Building 15, Piedmont Center
Suite 120
Atlanta, GA 30305
Tel +1(678)448-4148






Tenancy in Common
"Tenants in Common"

By default, multiple owners will hold told as Tenants in Common.  This means that the interest of any single owner is an undivided interest in the whole.  If one owner dies, the interest does not automatically go to the remaining owners, it will stay in the decedent's estate.  Generally, the death of a co-tenant in common will require probate of the decedent's estate.


Joint Tenancy
"Joint Tenants with Rights of Survivorship"

Alternatively, property owners may choose to hold title as Joint Tenants with Rights of Survivorship where the interest of any co-tenant will automatically transfer on death to the remaining co-tenant(s).  This type of joint tenancy is commonly used as an estate planning tool in properties owned by married couples.  Although not restricted just to married couples, survivorship rights are useful where the intent is, should any co-tenant pass away, that interest should go to the surviving co-tenant(s).  In Georgia, the benefit of a joint tenancy is entirely avoiding the probate process.


Other Tenancy
"Tenants by the Entirety" and
"Petition for Year's Support"


Since Georgia is a popular relocation destination for so many people, questions often arise about a type of tenancy referred to as "Tenants by the Entirety." The laws governing tenancy by the entirety vary among those States which recognize it. This tenancy is available strictly to married couples, and typically affords survivor rights plus other statutory benefits, such as limited asset protection.

Georgia does not recognize tenancy by the entirety. The closest equivalent tenancy in Georgia is Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship. Georgia joint tenancy has the benefit of being available to non-married parties and is not limited to two co-owners.

"Petition for Year's Support" Compared
Although Georgia does not recognize Tenancy by the Entirety, Georgia does recognize spousal rights to a decedent's estate through a separate mechanism called a Petition for Year's Support. Although not a deed per se, the petition can be used to vest title in a surviving spouse of the decedent's interest.


Did You Know that Tenancy Can be Changed at Any Time?
Sometimes life or estate plans change and it becomes necessary to switch the tenancy. At Georgia Title, we can evaluate the status of your property, and assist with changes, if needed.

–––––––––––––

Questions? Speak with a Real Estate Lawyer
CHRIS PAHL
Attorney at Law
Georgia Title & Escrow Co LLC
3575 Piedmont Road
Building 15, Piedmont Center
Suite 120
Atlanta, GA 30305
678.448.4148 Telephone

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+1(678)448-4148
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