A very large percentage of the conveyances of real estate to be used as the residences of the grantees are made to husbands and Wives, and most of these conveyances expressly provide for survivorship between the owners. In most cases these conveyances create joint tenancies with the survivor of the grantees having the right to complete ownership. Because of the number of these conveyances, attorneys are becoming increasingly conscious of the problems connected with joint tenancy. A recent article in the West Virginia Law Review contained a wealth of information on the subject of creation of joint estates in real property. A later article in the same review contained like information on the tax consequences of joint ownership of property. Those articles did not purport to cover many of the problems which arise when joint tenancies are created in real property. It is the purpose of the present article to attempt to shed some light upon some of the consequences of joint ownership of real property in West Virginia other than tax consequences. A West Virginia statute provides that when any joint tenant of an interest in property dies his interest therein shall descend or be disposed of as if he had been a tenant in common. Another statute provides that the above described statute shall not apply when it manifestly appears from the tenor of the instrument which created the tenancy that it was intended that the interest of the one dying should then belong to the others. Because of these statutes it will be assumed, unless otherwise specifically stated, that the land under discussion is owned by two or more persons as joint tenants with the right of survivorship and not as tenants in common.
Londo H. Brown,
Some Aspects of Joint Ownership of Real Property in West Virginia,
W. Va. L. Rev.
Available at: https://researchrepository.wvu.edu/wvlr/vol63/iss3/4