joint tenancy with right of survivorship
Also found in: Acronyms.
Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship
The ownership of property for which the co-owners have right of survivorship. In other words, if two or more persons jointly own a property with right of survivorship and one of them dies, the property does not become part of a decedent's estate; rather, the other owner(s) continue to own the property. A married couple may be joint tenants with right of survivorship on their house, for example. Less commonly, two business partners may be joint tenants with right of survivorship 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 the property and the property may be used to pay off creditors, even if the creditor had nothing to do with the property in question.
joint tenancy with right of survivorship (JTWROS)
Asset ownership for two or more persons in which each owner holds an equal share and may give away or sell that share without the permission of the other owner(s). In the event of death, an owner's share is divided equally among the surviving co-owners. Also called right of survivorship. Compare tenancy in common. See also tenancy by the entirety.