Estate by the entirety

Definition of Estate by the entirety

Called also estate in entirety, or estate by the entireties. An estate in joint tenancy, plus the unity of the marital relation. A form of co-ownership of realty or personalty held by husband and wife in which there is unity of estate, unity of possession and unity of control of entire property, and on death of one, survivor takes estate under original conveyance. In re Gallagher’s Estate, 352 Pa. 476, 43 A.2d 132, 133. A common-law estate, based on the doctrine that husband and wife are one, and that a conveyance of real property to husband and wife creates but one estate. An estate held by husband and wife together so long as both live, and, after the death of either, by the survivor. It is an estate held by husband and wife by virtue of a title acquired by them jointly after marriage. A creature of the common law created by legal fiction based wholly on the common-law doctrine that husband and wife are one, and hence a conveyance to husband and wife created only one estate, and each was owner of the whole estate, and neither could dispose of it without the consent of the other, and on the death of one survivor was the owner in fee simple. Alexander v. Alexander, 154 Or. 317, 58 P.2d 1265, 1270, 1271.

Type of joint estate which may be held only by two persons who are married to each other at the time that the estate is created and which does not admit of partition, though, on divorce, it automatically becomes an estate in common unless the parties provide otherwise.

An "estate by entireties” resembles a “joint tenancy” in that there is a right of survivorship in both, but such an estate is distinguishable from a joint tenancy in that the latter may be invested in any number of natural persons each of whom is seized of an undivided moiety of the whole, whereas a “tenancy by entirety” is vested in two persons only, who in law are regarded as only one, and each of whom becomes seized of the estate as a whole. Heffner v. White, 113 Ind.App. 296, 45 N.E.2d 342, 346.

See also Community property; Entirety; Tenancy ( Joint tenancy ).

That's the definition of Estate by the entirety in Black's Law Dictionary 6th Edition. Courtesy of