WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR A BUYER TO HIRE AN ATTORNEY?
WHAT ROLE DOES AN ATTORNEY PLAY WHEN THEY REPRESENT THE BUYER IN A REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION?
Tenancy in Common: The most basic form of title. In Illinois, if no manner of title is stated, co-ownership is presumed as tenants in common. It means the owners in common own an undivided fractional interest in the property. The owners own an unequal share but may use the entire property. The physical property is not divided. Tenants in common each hold separate ownership interests which can be sold, conveyed or transferred without the consent of the other owners. There is no right of survivorship. When one owner dies, that share of land is transferred by the owner’s will or by the intestacy statute and the owner’s heirs or legatees will become the new owners of that share.
Joint Tenancy: Basically joint tenants with right of survivorship. This ownership may be attained by satisfying the legal requirements of the four unities of ownership to include: time (all tenants must take title at the same time), title (all tenants must take title by the same document), interest (all tenants must have an equal interest), and possession (all tenants have an undivided possession right).
As in tenants in common, all owners have an undivided interest and can use the entire property. The difference is there is a unity of ownership. Upon death of one of the owners any remaining owners will take the rights of the deceased ownership, no new owners can take title. The property will be passed to the surviving owners. Property held in joint tenancy may be partitioned, sold, or encumbered without the consent of the other owners.
Tenancy by the Entirety: This is reserved only for married couples and provides extra protection to marital property. This must be the couple’s homestead. This method of holding title has all of the benefits of joint tenancy however also protects against some creditors. A home held as tenants by the entirety may only be reached by creditors of joint debts of husband and wife. In the case of non-joint debts, the property may not be partitioned, sold or encumbered without the permission of both spouses.