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Joint Tenancy Deeds in Maryland

Do Joint Tenancy Deeds in Maryland that do not include, “with rights of survivorship” actually include those rights.  In other words, does a Joint Tenancy Deed in Maryland need to include the verbiage “with rights of survivorship” for rights of survivorship to apply.

In Maryland, Joint Tenancy always presumes rights of survivorship, whether it states it or not.  Therefore, by stating, “Joint Tenancy”, survivorship is presumed.  That’s because survivorship is a key characteristic of a joint tenancy according to case law in Maryland.

The right of survivorship is a principal characteristic of joint tenancy. Young v. Young, 37 Md. App. 211, 376 A.2d 1151, cert. denied, 281 MD 746 (1977).  The entire phrase “joint tenancy with the right of survivorship, and not as tenants in common” is not needed in the deed.  A transfer to two or more persons “… as joint tenants” suffices to create a joint tenancy with the right of survivorship in Maryland. Downing v. Downing, 326 Md. 468, 606 A.2d 208 (1992).

For further information on the different types of tenancy, please visit this link. If you are considering adding or removing from title, please take a look at our tenancy guide.  If you need to speak to an attorney about changing the deed to your property, please email

deed, Deed Transfers, real estate, tenancy, Tips or Advice