Tenancy by the Entirety
A joint tenancy arrangement between a husband and wife, in which ownership of property is treated as though the couple were a single legal person. Tenancy by the entirety encompasses a right of survivorship, meaning that if one spouse dies, the entire interest in the property passes to the surviving spouse. In some jurisdictions, to create a tenancy by the entirety, the parties must specify in the deed that the property is being conveyed to the couple “as tenants by the entirety,” while in others, a conveyance to a married couple is presumed to create a tenancy by the entirety unless the deed specifies otherwise. Neither party in a tenancy by the entirety has a unilateral right to sever the tenancy. The termination of the tenancy or any dealing with any part of the property requires the consent of both spouses. In the event of a divorce the ownership converts to the default tenancy, which may be a tenancy in common in equal shares. The benefits of tenancy by the entirety include the ability to shield the property from creditors of only one spouse.