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 usually converts to tenancy in common. The benefits of tenancy by the entirety include the ability to shield the property from creditors of only one spouse. Some states only allow tenancy by the entirety for real property while other states allow this form of ownership for all types of property.