If you are in a domestic partnership and live in a Florida home, or if you are in a same-sex relationship and are planning to buy a house with your partner, you may want to speak with a Jacksonville Estate Planning Attorney and discuss how your deed [the instrument transferring title to real property] should be titled.
Under Florida law, there are three types of ownership, joint tenants wth right of survivorship, tenants in common, and tenants by the entirety (which is solely for a husband and wife).
Tenants in common gives each individual an undivided interest in the entire property. As tenants in common, there is no right of survivorship. When one owner dies, his/her interest passes to the beneficiaries as named in his/her will or passes per the Florida Intestacy law.
In Joint tenancy with right of survivorship two or more own property together, and on the death of a joint owner, the property passes to the surviving co-owner who now owns the property, without the need of a probate administration.
Jacksonville Domestic Partners, Life Partners, or same-sex couples can title their property as joint tenants with right of survivorship, or tenants in common. Another powerful instrument , the Enhanced Life Estate Deed or “Ladybird Deed” might be an option for you as well [to be discussed in future entry].
The particular circumstances of your relationship and what you and your partner have discussed as to each partner’s future ownership of the property, will help to determine the best way to title your deed. Whatever your decision is it is best to consult with an Estate Planning Attorney who is sensitive to your needs.