The manner in which a buyer takes title to a property in Arizona has legal and tax consequences.
Arizona is a community property state. Neither the real estate agent nor the escrow officer can give legal advice on how to take title. However general guidelines have been published and are reproduced here. These are definitions provided by Fidelity National Title Agency, Inc. Thank you.
COMMUNITY PROPERTY WITH RIGHT OF SURVIVORSHIP: Community property with right of suvivorship is a method of ownership by husband and wife that vests title in the surviving spouse upon the death of one of the spouses.
COMMUNITY PROPERTY: Arizona is a community property state. There is a statuary presumption that all property acquired by husband and wife is community property. Community property is a method of co-ownership for married persons only. Upon death of one of the spouses, the deceased spouse's interest will pass by either a will or interstate 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, the spouse must execute either a disclaimer deed or quit claim deed.
JOINT TENANCY WITH RIGHT OF SURVIVORSHIP: An undivided interest in property taken by two or more joint tenants. The interest must be equal; occurring under the same conveyance, and beginning at the same time. Upon death of a joint tenant, the interest passes to the surviving joint tenant or tenants, rather than to the heirs of the deceased. If a married couple acquires title as joint tenants with right of suvivorship, they must specifically accept the joint tenancy to avoid the presumption of community property.
TENANCY IN COMMON: A method of co-ownership where parties do not have survivorship rights and each owns a specific undivided interest in the entire title.
CORPORATION: Any group of people "incorporating" by following certain statutory procedures many take title to real property in the name of the corporation.
GENERAL PARTNERSHIP: 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.
LIMITED PARTNERSHIP: A partnership formed by two or more persons under the laws of Arizona or another state and having one or more general partners and one or more limited partners. A certificate of limited partnership must be filed in the Office of the Secretary of State, a certified copy of which must be recorded.