Ways to Take Title in Arizona
Arizona is a community property state. The presumption exists that all property acquired by a married couple is community property unless it is specifically exempted by statute(s). Upon the death of either, the surviving spouse owns one-half (1/2) interest and the interest of the deceased is subject to his/her will or the laws of intestate succession.
Sole and Separate
Real Property owned by a spouse before marriage or any acquired after marriage by gift, devise, descent or specific intent. If a married person acquires title as sole and separate property, his/her spouse must execute a disclaimer deed at the time of acquisition.
Joint Tenancy With Right of Survivorship (JTWROS)
Even though Arizona is a community property state, it is possible for a married couple to acquire title as Joint Tenants. In order to do this, the individuals must accept this vesting as it is, contrary to the presumption that the property is community. Individuals that are not married may also acquire property in this manner. Upon the death of one of the joint tenants, the property transfers to the surviving joint tenant(s). For the property to be vested in the survivor’s name, a copy of the death certificate must be recorded and the estate taxes, if any, must be satisfied.
Tenancy in Common
This form of co-ownership entitles two or more individuals to an undivided interest in the entire asset. Since the ownership is separate, it may be dealt with separately by the tenants. Property acquired by individuals that are not married to each other is presumed to be as tenants in common and the interests are equal unless the document states differently.
Community Property With Right of Survivorship
To differentiate between community property and tenancy in common requires a valid marriage between two persons. Each spouse will hold an undivided (1/2) interest in the estate that cannot be partitioned by selling his or her interest. A signature by both spouses is required to convey or encumber the estate. Upon the death of the first spouse, no court action is required to “clear” title and the estate passes to the surviving spouse outside of probate, after satisfaction of any estate taxes, and recording a copy of the death certificate.
Title may be taken in the name of a corporation provided that the corporation is duly formed and in good standing in the state of its incorporation.
Title may be taken in the name of a general partnership duly formed under the laws of the state of the formation of the partnership. A partnership is defined as a voluntary association of two or more persons as co-owners in a business for profit.
A partnership formed by two or more persons under laws of Arizona or another state and having one or more limited partners. A certificate of limited partnership must be filed in the office of the Secretary of State.
Limited Liability Company
A limited liability company formed by two or more persons under the laws of Arizona or another state. A limited liability company operates similar to a partnership with protection which is similar to a corporation. An Arizona liability company must be filed with the State of Arizona.