Legal minute with Cooley Shrair: Alternate Forms of Home Ownership

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (Mass Appeal) –  If someone is purchasing a home what are the various options that they may have regarding ownership? Attorney David Shrair from the Law Offices of Cooley Shrair in Springfield shared more.

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If someone is purchasing a home what are the various options that they may have regarding ownership?
Title to a home may be taken in individual names or held in some type of entity such as a Limited Liability Company. If the Purchaser is a married couple (and this includes in MA same sex marriages) then the parties have the option to take title as tenants by the entirety or tenants in common. If the Purchaser consists of two or more unmarred people then title may be taken as joint tenants or tenants in common

What are the differences between the types of tenancies you have mentioned?
Tenancy by the Entirety passes title upon death directly from one spouse to the surviving spouse and avoids probate proceedings regarding that property. In addition there is enhanced creditor protection because the debtor spouse’s creditors can’t levy against the non-debtor spouse.

Joint Tenants is similar to a Tenancy by the Entirety and can be used for non married individuals. The survivor becomes the owner upon the death of the other joint tenants and bypasses probate. You can petition a court to partition the interest of the owners if required

Tenancy in Common is used where someone wants to have no survivorship provisions. If one party dies than their interest passes to their heirs or under their wills

What other issues should be considered?
Anyone who purchases a home should have the attorney handling the matter the matter record a Declaration of Homestead which provides generally that the first $500,000 of equity is exempt from creditor attack as opposed to not filing such Declaration and only receiving the statutory $125,000 exemption. Each owner is eligible to file a Declaration provide that they reside in the home as their principal residence and subject to various maximum limits per property

About Cooley Shrair:
Cooley, Shrair P.C., founded in 1946 by Judge Sidney M. Cooley and Attorney Edward B. Cooley, is a progressive law firm located in Springfield, MA. Cooley Shrair provides unequaled service to its clients. Our unparalleled response time to our clients’ needs is the foundation of our mission statement.

At Cooley Shrair, family and business have always had a way of blending together. We know the importance of balancing the boardroom and the courtroom with the living room from time to time. We listen carefully to understand our clients’ concerns and work vigorously with them to develop strategies for success. It’s not just business, it’s personal.

We pride ourselves in being the most responsive lawyers in the area, covering virtually every area of practice for individuals and multinational corporations across the United States and Canada. Cooley Shrair is recognized consistently for exceeding client expectations and providing competent, integrated, and cost-effective legal services.

Our attorneys are each distinguished in their respective areas of concentration and are complemented by a professional support staff. Cooley Shrair is a formidable opponent who fiercely advocates on behalf of our clients and we take pride in our commitment to provide unparalleled response and unparalleled solutions.

We’re a family, and to us, that’s very personal business.

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