In Ontario, there are four different ways for two or more persons to own real estate (other than sole ownership). Person's involved in ownership within transaction should obtain independent legal advice as method of potential liability as owner and method of ownership.
The four types:
Joint Tenants which under this ownership, each partner owns equal share of property. Within join tenancy where one purchaser dies, the remaining persons on the ownership on title will inherit the deceased interest in the property. Regardless of a will, the joint tenants typically become the owner(s) of the properly automatically. This is common for spouses.
The second type would be tenants-in-common which each owner's share can be different. For instance, Betty owns 20% of the property while Joe owns 80%. Tenancy in common means that should a purchaser become deceased, then that person's interest in the real estate will be transferred according to their will and if they do not have one, then the Succession Law Reform Act dictates how the property passes. In this scenario the deceased's estate will be liable for any "probate" fees.
The third type of ownership is a "Trust", which should be discussed with a lawyer. Typically, in this case it signifies that the person who is registered on the title in the Ontario Land Registry Office is not the true beneficial owner, for example "Betty, in trust". This scenario is rather complicated and should be discussed with a lawyer.
The last type of ownership type would be a partnership agreement. This type of ownership is made specific to any set of purchasers that wish to make a specific agreement. If more than one person is shown to be owner and only one person is providing majority of expenses to the purchase then this type of agreement would be recommended, as you may wish to consider avoiding any future is understanding with respect to proceeds upon resale of property.
Be sure to consult with your lawyer when deciding which option bests suits your needs prior to closing.
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This blog is not to be construed as legal advice and you should consult a lawyer for legal specific matters.