Another way to transfer property is through joint ownership. Real estate owned by both husband and wife automatically becomes the sole property of the survivor.

If two or more persons other than husband and wife own real estate together, each owns an undivided share as tenant in common, unless the deed states they are to own “as joint tenants and not as tenants in common.” With exceptions, real estate held in joint ownership goes to the survivor or survivors when one of the joint owners dies. An interest in real estate owned by tenants in common passes to the heirs of the deceased.

Personal property may be owned jointly with right of survivorship, the survivor becoming the sole owner. Checking accounts, savings accounts or stocks and bonds may be held in joint ownership with right of survivorship, or as tenants in common.