Tenancy by the entirety is one of the options you have to title your home in Maryland if you are married and own a property with your spouse. In fact, unless the deed specifies otherwise, the state will presume that you are holding your property by tenancy by the entirety. Maryland is one of a relatively small number of states that allow married couples to hold residential property as tenants by the entirety, and in recent years the protections that this status afforded residential property owners have been waning. Nevertheless, it is still a viable option for titling your home, and offers all the protections of joint tenancy with the addition of more protection against creditors.
Tenancy by the Entirety in Maryland
The basic premise of tenancy by the entirety is that the married couple own the residential property as one unit, not two people. This has several consequences. First, if one of the spouses passes away, the other will receive full possession of the property without it having to pass through probate. Second, both spouses must consent to sell the property together in the event they wish to do so. Essentially, the main benefits of tenancy by the entirety are the same as those of joint tenancy.
The main difference between the two is the additional protection tenancy by the entirety offers against creditors. If one spouse has problems with debt, defaults on a loan, etc., the creditors cannot come after the house because it is not owned by the one spouse but by the two together as a unit.
However, this immunity from creditors is not as strong as it used to be. A 2002 Supreme Court ruling held that “the IRS can go after tenancy by the entirety property even if only one of the spouses has an unpaid tax debt.” And of course, if the spouses hold a joint debt, the property is not protected against creditors.
It’s important to go into your real estate closing knowing the pros and cons of each option for holding title to your home in Maryland. Colony Title Associates can answer all of your questions about home title’s, title insurance, settlements, and more, as well as provide you with title insurance and real estate settlement services. Please contact us today for more information.
About Colony Title Associates:
Founded in 1995, Colony Title Group handles in excess of 2000 real estate closings per year in the central Maryland area. The founder Tee Tillman has over 23 years experience in the title and real estate law fields. Colony handles closings for several lenders, including banks, credit unions and mortgage brokers. Colony is the preferred choice for many real estate brokers in the Baltimore area. If you have any questions concerning issues that Baltimore title insurance protects you from, feel free to contact us at 410 884-1160 or visit ColonyTitle.com today!