Tenants By Entirety - TBE

DEFINITION of 'Tenants By Entirety - TBE'

A method in some states by which married couples can hold the title to a property. In order for one spouse to modify his or her interest in the property in any way, the consent of both spouses is required by tenants by entirety. It also provides that when one spouse passes away, the surviving spouse gains full ownership of the property.

BREAKING DOWN 'Tenants By Entirety - TBE'

For example, a husband could not decide to sell his ownership interest in a vacation home owned with his wife without the wife's consent.

About half of the U.S. states allow tenancy by entirety for all types of property; a handful of states allow it only for real estate. Other possible structures under which a husband and wife may choose to jointly own property include tenancy in common and joint tenancy. Each method of holding title affects each owner's rights to transfer the property and use it as collateral. The ownership structure also determines what will happen to the property when one spouse dies and whether the property can be used to satisfy a debt or judgment.

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