Crazy Facts- Tenant in Common Issues

4 Replies

My question involves real estate located in the State of: North Carolina

P - Plaintiff
D- Deceased
DF- Defendant

Hello everyone, here are the facts:
- DF and D were in a romantic relationship. D asked DF to move in order for DF to provide companionship to D. DF does so.
- DF wants to buy a home, DF obtains bank loan to do to. D tells DF not to do that. That D will provide money in cash to pay for DFs new home. In order to do that D puts himself and DF on the deed as tenants in common. D tells DF that the home is DF's. D never lives in the home. D states that once D is dead, home will solely be DF's.
- P is D's child. P comes to D's home, does not like that DF is living with D. DF becomes uncomfortable, tells D that DF is going to live in home D purchased for DF until D can resolve problems with P.
- D dies.
- DF resides in home for 11 years.
- P now wants to petition to partition the property or have it sold.
- D contends that P does not own property because D intended for it to only be DF's.
- D contends that P has no ownership interest in property.
- P contends that they own a half interested, inherited through D's death.

What do you all think? Can D keep their home?

I don't know the laws of your state.

I once bought an property with my sister, with the deed in my name and hers tenants in common. I was married, so is she with a husband and grandchildren. We decided that if something happens to me, she is to get my half and visa versa. Normally, with tenants in common, my wife inherits my half if I die first, and my sister's husband would inherit hers or her children if he dies. Our spouses are OK with it.

So we had it done as "tenants in common with right of survivorship", on the deed, and each of us inherit the others half on death. If the laws of your state is the same, the survivor of the tenant in common inherits. If not, you only got half. So it depends on how the deed was written.

@Laura Espaillat -

I'm not a NC lawyer and have not seen the deed.  I'd recommend you get the deed and speak to a local attorney.  That said, a quick look at the deed should provide the answer.  My reading of the NC Statute (pasted below) is that unless the deed specifically provides for right of survivorship, then the interest goes to the heirs of the deceased rather than the tenant-in-common.  So, (if my understanding is correct) if the deed does not state that DF has the right to survivorship, then D's interest has gone to P.

§ 41-2. Survivorship in joint tenancy defined; proviso as to partnership; unequal ownership interests.

(a) Except as otherwise provided herein, in all estates, real or personal, held in joint
tenancy, the part or share of any tenant dying shall not descend or go to the surviving tenant,
but shall descend or be vested in the heirs, executors, or administrators, respectively, of the
tenant so dying
, in the same manner as estates held by tenancy in common: Provided, that
estates held in joint tenancy for the purpose of carrying on and promoting trade and
commerce, or any useful work or manufacture, established and pursued with a view of
profit to the parties therein concerned, are vested in the surviving partner, in order to enable
the surviving partner to settle and adjust the partnership business, or pay off the debts which
may have been contracted in pursuit of the joint business; but as soon as the same is
effected, the survivor shall account with, and pay, and deliver to the heirs, executors and
administrators respectively of such deceased partner all such part, share, and sums of
money as the deceased partner may be entitled to by virtue of the original agreement, if
any, or according to the deceased partner's share or part in the joint concern, in the same
manner as partnership stock is usually settled between joint merchants and the
representatives of their deceased partners. Nothing in this section prevents the creation of
a joint tenancy with right of survivorship in real or personal property if the instrument
creating the joint tenancy expressly provides for a right of survivorship, and no other
document shall be necessary to establish said right of survivorship.