Tenancy in Common Definition

When two or more people own property together they either have joint tenancy or tenancy in common. In joint tenancy, upon the death of an owner that owner’s interest in the property automatically transfers to the surviving tenant. In a tenancy in common situation, each owner can specify a beneficiary and upon that owner’s death the interest in the property transfers to the designated beneficiary.

For example, if you own a home as a joint tenant with your spouse, whoever lives longest will own the entire house; on the other hand if you own a business in a tenancy in common with a partner, when you die you can leave your share of the business to your child.