How this property is dealt with depends largely on how it was held by the deceased (ie solely or with
another person/people). If the deceased owned property with other people, then the Estate’s
interest in the property will depend on whether the deceased and the other owners held the
property as ‘joint tenants’ or as ‘tenants in common’.
The main difference between the two holdings is that, if a property is held as joint tenants, the
remaining owners have what is called the ‘right of survivorship’ when one of the owners passes
away. This essentially means that the deceased’s share in the property is automatically absorbed by
the other owners and the deceased’s share will not form part of their Estate. If the property is held
as tenants in common on the other hand, then this means that the deceased owned a distinct share
in the property, and that share will then be dealt with in accordance with the deceased’s Will or the
rules of intestacy (if the deceased did not have a Will).
Considering the way in which any real property will be held is also an important aspect of Estate
planning. The type of tenancy will determine whether a person’s interest in the property will form
part of their Estate when they pass away (and accordingly pass to their beneficiaries), or whether it
will automatically pass to the remaining owners of the property (and therefore limit the options of
any potential claimants of the Estate in accessing that property).
We suggest that you contact our office on 3262 6122 to discuss the planning of your Estate or for
assistance with an Estate’s administration.