tenancy by the entirety

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Tenancy by the Entirety

The joint ownership of a property with rights of survivorship. In other words, a property with tenancy by the entirety does not become part of a decedent's estate; rather, the other tenants continue to own the property. Couples may be tenants by entirety on a jointly-owned house, for example. Likewise, two business partners may be tenants by entirety on a business property: if two persons own an apartment complex and one of them dies, the whole of the complex belongs to the co-owner and not the decedent's heirs. It is important to note, however, that the decedent's liabilities may remain attached to this property and may be used to pay off creditors, even if the creditor had nothing to do with the property in question.

tenancy by the entirety

A type of asset ownership limited to married couples in which each spouse holds an equal share of the asset but neither may sell or give away an interest without the other's permission. If one spouse dies, the deceased's share automatically passes to the surviving spouse. Compare tenancy in common.