What Are Joint Tenants in Common (JTIC)?

Joint tenants in common (JTIC) is a type of brokerage account that is owned by at least two people with no rights of survivorship afforded to any of the account holders.

Key Takeaways

  • Joint tenants in common (JTIC) is a brokerage account owned by at least two people with no rights of survivorship afforded to any of the account holders.
  • Tenants can specify in a will how to distribute assets upon their death. 
  • JTIC accounts can hold an unequal interest in properties but still have equal access and rights to the property. 

Understanding Joint Tenants in Common (JTIC)

A surviving tenant of a joint tenants in common account does not necessarily acquire the rights (and account assets) of the deceased person. Each tenant in the account can stipulate in a written will how their assets will be distributed upon their death. The member ownership in the account is generally determined on a pro-rata basis. That means if there are two tenants in the account, each will have a 50% claim on the account's value.

Special Considerations

Joint tenants in common could control unequal interest in the property. They would still be entitled to mutually share in the property and not have the right to deny each other access to it. A joint tenants in common arrangement could be established through a will left by the prior owner of a property. The will could stipulate percentage ownership for each named party.

Tenant of JTIC properties can sell their individual stakes, and even if the is sold property it’s treated as a whole unit and not subdivided.

An agreement to be joint tenants in common could also be formed when more than one party puts their funding into an acquisition of property. The percentage of the assets each party committed would typically be the basis for their ownership and share. For example, if one party committed 85% of the funds needed to acquire a property, they would hold an 85% claim to it.

The property in question is usually treated as a whole unit rather than subdivided among the joint tenants. In other words, each tenant would have the rights to use the entire property and not just a portion based on the size of their claim.

Depending on the local laws and type of account, each tenant may have the right at their discretion to tap into resources associated with the joint property or account. This can include withdrawals or even the sale of their interest in the property. Some states require signatures from all parties that can claim a portion of ownership in order for transactions to be conducted involving joint tenants in common accounts or property. That would compel all parties to agree in order to complete a sale of the whole property. Each tenant could choose to sell their individual stake. Even if a tenant sold their portion of interest in the property it would still be treated as a whole unit and not subdivided.