Massachusetts Agencies

Tenancy by Coparcenary: What's That?

Joint Tenancy

At common law, the estate of two or more females inherited from a common ancestor in default of male heirs. The rights of coparceners were in the nature of a joint tenancy in that they could sue and be sued jointly in regards to the property, but were in the nature of a tenancy in common in that no right of survivorship existed. Moynihan, Introduction to the Law of Real Property §8 (3d ed. 2002).

Coparcenary is the concept whereby two or more people inherit a title equally between them as a result of which none can inherit until all but one have renounced their right to the inheritance. This arises when a title passes through and vests in female heirs in the absence of a male heir. Before they inherit, each of the females heirs would be an heir presumptive. After they inherit, since the title cannot be held by two people simultaneously, two daughters (without a brother) who inherit in this way would do so as co‑parceners. In these circumstances, the title would in fact be held in abeyance until one of them renounced for herself and her successors in favour of the other. In England & Wales, passage of a title in this fashion is effected under the rules laid down in the Land Law Act 1925.