This information is provided as a basic outline of things you may need / want to consider with your ownership…the best advice for your specific situation would be from your accountant / financial planner.
When a person holds land in fee simple, it means that the person is the absolute owner with all the rights of ownership during the person’s lifetime and differences between “estate in fee simple” and “life estate” the right to dispose of it as the person wishes at death. If the owner does not dispose of it prior to death, the property will pass to the beneficiaries designated in the Will, in the law if no Will exists or by beneficiary designation means what it says—that one is entitled to the use and benefits of the property for life, but that these rights cease upon death.There are certain restrictions on a person having a life estate in property. The
person cannot abuse the property so as to greatly decrease its value. The person can only lease the interest in it, which terminates at his or her death.
There are several ways for two or more people to own property together.
Tenancy in Common: Each owner in common owns an interest in the undivided property. Individual owners need not own equal shares and need not be related. Each owner has the right to dispose of his or her share in the property without the consent of the others. If one of the owners dies, his or her share descends to his or her heirs by the statute of descent and distribution or by will. These heirs may or may not be the co-owners of the property. The interest (degree of ownership) of each owner may be seized for his or her debts. One owner may force a division of the land or sale of the entire parcel by lawsuit, known as a partition action.
Joint tenancy is often called joint tenure. It is a common way for husband and wife to hold such property as the family home. If federal estate taxes are a concern, a husband and wife should carefully select property and minimize property owned with right of survivorship.
Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship (JTRS): For real property, JTRS ownership can be severed if one tenant elects to transfer his or her interest by sale or gift. Only the interest can be transferred. For personal property, such as bank accounts, each co-owner is entitled to spend or withdraw the entire account without the other’s approval. An important feature is the right of survivorship. This means if one owner dies, those remaining become the
owner(s) of the whole property, regardless of what the decedent’s will states.