Joint Tenancy in Arizona

What Is Joint Tenancy?


“The law in this state recognizes that a joint tenancy may be held by two or more persons in personal as well as real property.” (See Brown v. Navarre (1946) 64 Ariz. 262, 267.)

“A joint tenancy is an estate held by two or more persons jointly, each having an equal right to its enjoyment during his or her life.” (See Lonergan v. Strom (1985) 145 Ariz. 195, 198.)

“The distinguishing feature of a joint tenancy is the right of survivorship by which the survivor takes the estate free of any claim of a deceased joint tenant.” (See Lonergan v. Strom (1985) 145 Ariz. 195, 198.)

General Information for Complaints and Motions

“In order to constitute a joint tenancy, four requisites must exist, namely: The tenants must have one and the same interest; the interest must accrue by one and the same conveyance; they must commence at one and the same time; and the property must be held by one and the same undivided possession.” (See Brown v. Navarre (1946) 64 Ariz. 262, 265.)

“In other words, there must be four unities: (1) Unity of interest, (2) unity of title, (3) unity of time and (4) unity of possession. If anyone of these elements is lacking, the estate will not be one in joint tenancy.” (See Brown v. Navarre (1946) 64 Ariz. 262, 265.)

“Severance or destruction of one or more of these unities results in a destruction of the joint tenancy and the failure of the right of survivorship.” (See Lonergan v. Strom (1985) 145 Ariz. 195, 198.)

Standard of Review and Burdens of Proof

“We review de novo dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim for which relief can be granted.” (See Coleman v. City of Mesa (2012) 230 Ariz. 352, 355, ¶ 7; Wasielewski v. the Kroger Co., No. 1 CA-CV 15-0697, at *3 (Ariz. Ct. App. Feb. 9, 2017).)

“Dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6) is appropriate only if as a matter of law plaintiffs would not be entitled to relief under any interpretation of the facts susceptible of proof.” (See id.)

“We assume the truth of all well-pleaded factual allegations and indulge all reasonable inferences from those facts, but statements of legal conclusions without supporting factual allegations are insufficient to form a basis for relief.” (See id.)

The Court’s Decisions

It is well settled that “a joint tenancy cannot be created by the owner of property to himself and another because unity of title and unity of time are lacking in the estate created in the two grantees and therefore a tenancy in common results.” (See Brown v. Navarre (1946) 64 Ariz. 262, 265.)

It is also well settled that “either party to a joint tenancy may terminate it by conveyance or other disposition of his interest, and the consent of the other tenants is not required.” (See Lonergan v. Strom (1985) 145 Ariz. 195, 198.)

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