Fee simple ownership
Fee simple property ownership is a term referring to the highest form of estate ownership. It entitles the property owner to full enjoyment of the property. The only limits are zoning laws, deed or subdivision restrictions, or covenants. This type of property ownership can be passed down through generations. In fee simple ownership, you own the property fully and can do whatever you like there within legal bounds.
Tenancy in common ownership
Tenancy in common allows two or more people to have ownership in a property. Upon the owner’s death, each shareholder has the ability to leave their share of the property to any beneficiary. The shares in the property may be of unequal size, and can be freely transferred to other owners during the owner’s lifetime and through a will. Even if there are unequal shares between owners, all owners still have a right to use and occupy all of the property.
Community property refers to joint ownership of assets between married couples in certain states. In Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin, married couples are required to decide to have some or all of their property treated as community property between the two of them. In general, community property refers to all assets purchased or acquired by a couple during the course of their marriage. Those assets are owned equally by each spouse. Gifts and inheritances are not considered community property.
Joint tenants with right of survivorship
Joint tenants with the right of survivorship refers to a type of joint ownership in which co-owners have a right of survivorship. A right of survivorship means that if one owner dies, their share of the property will pass over to the surviving owner or owners by law, therefore avoiding probate.
Ownership by contract
In contractual ownership, the owner of the property has full control over the property during life, but then after death the property goes outside of probate to the beneficiaries designated by the original owner. The beneficiary will need to produce proof of death to claim ownership of the asset.