Today most people have a will which will allocate their real and personal property when they die.  As a result, this will usually reduce any disagreement or issues that might arise among the heirs. A will names an executor who oversees the will and make sure that the heirs get what is assigned to them. Recently a will’s executor claimed that the decedent’s real property was hidden or concealed from the decedent’s estate, as reported by the New York Law Journal in a June 18, 2013 news article.

The decedent resided at the property in question until he died. The property is owned by the decedent and his girlfriend under a deed, even though the decedent was legally married to someone else. Once the decedent died, the girlfriend tried to transfer the property claiming that the property was held as joint tenants with the right of survivorship while the will’s executor claimed tenants held the property in common. Thus, the decedent’s estate had a share in the property. A joint tenant with the right of survivorship mean that the owners own the property together and the owner outlives the other has the right to the entire property. Tenants in common, however, means that the owners are tenants with a share in the property, and it does not matter whether one outlives the other or not as the tenant’s share, which will go to his or her heirs or estate after death.

In the current case, the court found that the deed did not contain any right of survivorship language. Thus, tenants in common means that the estate has a share in the property held the property. As a result, the case was dismissed.