Termination of Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship
Question: My daughter and her boyfriend have lived together in a Peoria home for almost 15 years. The deed says joint tenants with right of survivorship. In other words, if one of them dies the survivor was to get the home. They have shared the costs of the mortgage and the maintenance of the home. Her boyfriend has been very sick with diabetes this last year. Without telling my daughter, the boyfriend signed a deed to the home to his 22-year-old daughter. Who owns the home now? What happens if the boyfriend dies?
Answer: When the boyfriend deeded the home to his adult daughter, the joint tenancy with right of survivorship with your daughter was terminated. Your daughter and her boyfriend’s daughter now own the home as 50-50 tenants in common. Your daughter’s boyfriend no longer has any interest in the home, and his death would have no effect on the ownership of the home.
Note: Although a transfer by deed of a home owned as joint tenants with right of survivorship interest terminates the joint tenancy, a mortgage or lease by one joint tenant generally does not. In other words, if your daughter’s boyfriend had taken out a mortgage on the home, your daughter and her boyfriend would probably still own the home as joint tenants with right of survivorship.