How to Take Ownership of a Home in Arizona

How to take ownership of a home in Arizona is one real property purchasers ask their teal estate, escrow, and title professionals every day.  Unfortunately, though these professionals may identify the many methods of owning property, they may not recommend a specific form of ownership, as doing so would constitute practicing law.

Because real property has become increasingly more valuable, the question of how parties take ownership of their property has gained greater importance.  The vesting of title and exposure to creditor’s claims can have significant probate implications in the event of death.

ALTA advises those purchasing real property to give careful consideration to the manner in which title will be held.  Buyers may wish to consult legal counsel to determine the most advantageous form of ownership for their particular situation, especially in the case of multiple owners of a single property.

The ALTA has provided the following definitions of common vesting as an information overview.  Consumers should not rely on these as legal definitions.  The ALTA urges real property purchasers to carefully consider their titling decisions prior to closing, and to seek counsel should they be unfamiliar with the most suitable ownership choice for their particular situation.


Common Ways to Hold Title

Title to real property in Arizona may be held by individuals, either in Sole Ownership or in Co-ownership.  There are several variations as to how title may be held in each type of ownership and the following summaries reference the more common examples.  The way property is held can affect your taxes, inheritance, and your financial future.  Be sure to consult your attorney and accountant to advise you.


Sole Ownership

A man or woman who is not married:

Example: Jane Doe, a single woman

An unmarried man/woman. A man or woman, who having been married are legally divorced:

Example: Jane Doe, an unmarried woman

A married man/woman, as his/her Sole and separate property: when a married man or woman wishes to acquire title as their sole and separate property, the spouse must consent and relinquish all right, title, and interest in the property by signing a disclaimer deed or other written agreement.

Example: Jane Doe, a married woman, has her sole and separate property.


Community Property with Right of Survivorship or Community Property

Any property acquired during a valid marriage.  Excluded is any property acquired by gift, bequest, devise, decent, or as the separate property of either is presumed community property.

Example: Jane Doe and John Doe, wife and husband, as community property.

Example: Jane Doe and John Doe, wife and husband, as community property with right of survivorship.

Joint Tenancy

Joint and equal interests in land owned by two or more individuals created under a single instrument with right of survivorship.

Example: Jane Doe, wife and husband, as joint tenants.

Tenancy in Common

Under tenancy in common, the co-owners own undivided interests; but unlike joint tenancy, these interests need not be equal in quantity and may arise at different times.  There is no right of survivorship; each tenant owns an interest, which on his or her death vests in his or her heirs or devisee.

Example: Jane Doe, a single woman, as to an undivided 3/4ths interest, and Sally Smith, a single woman, as to an undivided 1/4th interest, as tenants in common.


Title to real property in Arizona may be held in trust.  The trustee of the trust holds title pursuant to the terms of the trust for the benefit of the trust or/beneficiary.


How to Take Ownership of a Home in Arizona Table