Some Of The Most Common Ways To Hold Title


Knowing the different ways for a homeowner to hold title is crucial!

Wondering what the phrase after your name in a deed or title signifies? Colony Title Associates is here to help! When title companies figure out who how you hold title, they look at your “vesting” deed. Basically, a vesting deed is just your most recent deed that can show how you own your property. Determining how someone owns any property ultimately depends on the particular situation. Here is a variety of ways for someone to hold title.

Sole Owner

There are three different ways that someone could own property as a single individual.

  • Unmarried man or woman:  As a single person owning any property, your deed or title should read- John Smith, a single man or Jane Smith, a single woman, respectively.
  • Previously married but now legally divorced: If you are someone who has been married before but are currently officially and legally divorced, your deed or title should read- John Smith, an unmarried man or Jane Smith, an unmarried woman, respectively.
  • Married: If you are currently married but also seeking to acquire sole ownership of property, separate from your spouse your title or deed should read- John Smith, an unmarried man as his sole and separate property or Jane Smith, an unmarried woman as her sole and separate property, respectively.

Joint Ownership

There are several different ways for people to own property together.

  • Community Property (not applicable in all fifty (50) states: Commonly found in states like California but not Maryland, community property is any property acquired by a husband and wife during their marriage other than a gift.
  • Community Property With Right Of Survivorship (not applicable in all fifty (50) states: Again, this type of ownership is not found in Maryland, but involves that upon the death of one spouse, the survivor receives the deceased’s half share of the property.
  • Joint Tenancy: With joint tenancy, both people have shared and equal interests in the property. A common way to hold title in any marriage in states like Maryland. A joint tenancy is created with one document and leaves the property with a survivor upon the death of both individuals.
  • Tenancy In Common: Here, the co-owners own undivided interest in or equal rights to a collective right to enjoy the property in question during their lives. Unlike joint tenancy, there is no right of survivorship which means that the property ultimately will go to the decedent’s heirs.
  • Trust: A living trust of real estate directly holds legal as well as equitable title in the property in question. In fact, the trustee holds the title for the trustor or beneficiary who then retains all the management rights and responsibilities.

In the end, how you hold title can affect the way you sell your property and the outcome of such a sale. As a result, seeking the help of a trusted professional to determine how to change the way you hold title can do wonders for your real estate needs.

A Title Company You Can Trust: Colony Title

At Colony Title, we will help you through the process of getting your property’s title and help you avoid the pitfalls of hidden costs while you buy your home. We are also well trained in identifying any and all errors in public records and helping you resolve them. We specialize in real estate title insurance in both Maryland and Washington, D.C., and we will perform an expert title search, check through all past documentation, and examine records for any fraud or forgery. For more information on how we can get you into the home of your dreams, contact us online or give us a call at (410) 884-1160. To get more updates on housing markets and how to get into your home, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

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