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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Severing joint tenancy

Even though I'm a wills lawyer, not a real estate lawyer, I receive questions from readers almost on a daily basis about joint tenancy and tenancy-in-common. This topic is important from an estate planning perspective, because anyone making a will obviously needs to understand exactly what he owns and how the method of holding the title affects him.

One of my favourite blogs to read,, has a new posting that gives quite a bit of detail about how joint tenancies can become tenancies-in-common, a process that is called 'severing' the joint title. The post covers a recent decision of the Ontario court of appeal which summarized the three ways in which joint tenancies can be severed. Those of you looking for more information on this topic should definitely check out the blog post by clicking here.

I should also point out that in some provinces, the land titles office or registry procedures manual is available online. Some of those links are available here on my site. I know the idea of reading a procedures manual is daunting, and it doesn't sound like the most exciting reading, but it can be a really good source of straightforward information that answers those "how do I do this?" questions.


  1. Hi Lynne

    We are having a family dispute with my father-in-law. We do not get along with his current girlfriend, so he is punishing us by threating us with court action if we do not sign over the family cabin which is a Joint tenants property to him. He has already put her in charge of all his other assets in the event he passes. He is also not in good health having a pacemaker put in along with other medical issues. Do we have a chance in stopping this black widow from getting her hands on this property?

    Thanks James

  2. My wife keeps stalling the sale of our Income property. Should I severe the joint tenancy then sell my part if she won't agree to a sale?

    1. Do you think that you can find a buyer for half a house?



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