JOINT TENANTS. Where property is granted to two or more persons, as joint tenants, they have each an equal interest or right in the whole of the property. The important point about a joint tenancy is that when one of the joint tenants dies his interest in the property passes to the sur viving joint tenants. A joint tenant cannot dispose of his interest by will, but during his lifetime he may convey his share to anyone. The outsider who purchases the share of a joint tenant becomes a tenant in common. If one of the tenants purchases the share of another, the transfer is effected by a release, not by a conveyance, because each joint tenant is already equally possessed of the whole property. The share of each tenant must be equal, and their interests all created at the same time and by the same instru ment. if there is only one surviving joint tenant he is the sole owner, and may dispose of the property by will.
In the event of a property being devised to several persons without stating whether they are to be joint tenants or tenants in common, they are regarded as joint tenants.
The difference between joint tenants and tenants in common should be noted. A tenant in common has a separate and dis tinct share in the property which he can dispose of by will. The survivor in a tenancy in common does not become the owner of the whole property. One tenant in common may transfer his share to another tenant by conveyance. Their shares may be equal or unequal, and their shares need not, necessarily, be all created at the same time or under the same instrument.
Where deeds of a joint tenancy are de posited as security, the document of charge should be signed by all the joint tenants, and it is advisable that a banker's legal mortgage be taken. (See COPARCENERS, TENANTS IN COMMON.)