DEFINITION of 'Tenancy By The Entirety'

A type of concurrent estate in real property that is unique in that it occurs where the owners of property are husband and wife. Each spouse has an equal and undivided interest in the property. In essence, each owns the entire estate. In the event that one spouse dies, the full title of the property automatically passes to the surviving spouse. A tenancy by the entirety permits spouses to jointly own property as a single legal entity.

BREAKING DOWN 'Tenancy By The Entirety'

A tenancy by the entirely can only occur when the owners are husband and wife at the time the title is received. A tenancy by the entirety may be terminated by the death of one spouse, by divorce (resulting in the parties becoming tenants in common) or by the mutual agreement of the husband and wife.

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