Ownership by Married Couples
Inheritable - When real property can be passed on to heirs by the owner, the title to the property is deemed inheritable. 99% of titles are inheritable. The holder of title/the owner can pass the title to the heirs of their choosing at death. The person dying and leaving an estate is known as the decedent.
Ownership by Married Couples
Same-sex partners have the right to community property. All property you buy with money earned during the domestic partnership (real estate, cars, furniture, etc.) belongs equally to both of you.
Title/Ownership Forms - The following are different ways the title to property can be set up for non-married couples:
Fee Estate - When the estate/possession right can be passed on to heirs by the person who holds possession, it is called a "fee" estate. The word "fee" means that the possession/estate right is inheritable. The possession right can be passed on to heirs of the estate/possession holder's choosing.
99% Are Fee Estates - The vast majority of homeowners have a fee estate. They hold a fee simple estate. Whether it is ownership of a home, building, condominium, land, etc., if it is a fee simple estate they can pass on the possession right to heirs of their choosing.
Fee Simple Estate - She has the right to pass on the title and possession right of the summer home to anyone of her choosing. She could pass on the home (inheritable) to her new husband. She could pass on the property to you. She would be passing title (inheritable) and possession (fee estate) to the person of her choosing.
Not Inheritable - When a person cannot pass on their rights to a person of their choosing, the right is not inheritable. This is unusual in practice, but you will run across this from time to time during your real estate career.
Life Estate - A life estate is when a holder has the right to possess/use the property for their lifetime.
Note - The word "fee" is not present. The holder of a life estate cannot pass on their use and possession right to another. When they die, possession reverts to one of the following:
Note - Title in the above situations is not inheritable. Possession is not a fee estate. The beneficiaries of the trust cannot pass on their possession/estate interest to an heir of their choosing. They do not own the property, the title is not inheritable. The trust holds title.
A person receiving ownership of real property through a valid will is called:
A) A testator
B) A legatee
C) An executor
D) A devisee
When a person dies testate, the real property:
A) Escheats and is sold at auction by the State
B) Goes to the next of kin
C) Passes by devise through a will
D) Goes to the administrator
Normally, if a husband owns property in severalty and dies intestate, leaving a widow and one child as survivors, the estate in most States passes to the:
A) Widow alone
B) Widow and child
C) Child alone
D) Child alone, subject to widow's life estate
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