AN ACT TO RECODIFY AND MAKE CHANGES TO THE GENERAL STATUTES INVOLVING JOINT TENANCY.
Enacts Article 5, Joint Tenancy, to GS Chapter 41. Recodifies provisions of GS 41-2 into the Article, as provided. Defines conveyance and termination.
Enacts GS 41-71, providing that a conveyance to two or more persons creates a tenancy in common unless a joint tenancy with right of survivorship is created as provided by the statute, or a tenancy by the entirety is created as provided by law. Establishes that a conveyance to two or more persons creates a joint tenancy with right of survivorship if the instrument expresses an intent to create a joint tenancy with right of survivorship. Provides that express intent exists, unless the instrument otherwise provides, if the instrument uses the language "joint tenants with right of survivorship," "joint tenants," "joint tenancy," "tenants in common with right of survivorship," "joint with right of survivorship," or "with right of survivorship."
Eancts GS 41-72, incorporating GS 41-2(b), to establish that the interests of joint tenants in a joint tenancy with right of survivorship are equal unless the instrument of conveyance provides otherwise. This provision applies to any conveyance of an interest in property created at any time that explicitly seeks to create unequal ownership interest in a joint tenancy with right of survivorship. Provides that distributions made prior to October 1, 2009, that were made in unequal amounts from a joint tenancy with right of survivorship that sought to create unequal ownership remain valid and are not subject to modification on the basis of this provision. Declares that for a joint tenancy interest conveyed to individuals married to each other (rather than husband and wife) and to one or more other joint tenants in the same conveyance instrument, the interest held by the married individuals is a tenancy by the entirety, and the married individuals are to be treated as a single joint tenant unless the instrument provides otherwise.
Enacts GS 41-73. Details six events that result in severance of a joint tenancy with right of survivorship. Events terminating a joint tenancy due to the collective action of all tenants include: (1) conveyance to a third party by all tenants of all of their interests held in the property, (2) execution of an instrument with a third party that does not convey all of their interests held in the property to the third party, and (3) execution of an instrument by all joint tenants with the express intent to terminate the joint tenancy. Events terminating a joint tenancy due to the unilateral action of a joint tenant include: (1) conveyance to a third party or parties of all of that joint tenant's interests in the property, (2) execution of an instrument with a third party by a joint tenant that does not convey all of that joint tenant's interest to the third party, and (3) execution of an instrument by the joint tenant where the joint tenant is both the grantor and the grantee with the express intent to terminate. Details the creation of a tenancy in common upon severance, with variations depending on the event that triggered severance, incorporating GS 41-2(a). Specifies three events that do not result in severance of a joint tenancy with right of survivorship: (1) the filing of a judgment against one joint tenant; (2) the filing of a petition by one joint tenant in bankruptcy; or (3) the divorce of married individuals holding an interest as tenants by the entirety in a joint tenancy with one or more other joint tenants, unless the divorced individuals agree otherwise, with the divorced individuals then holding their existing interest equally as tenants in common. Clarifies that the statute does not limit the manner or effect of a severance ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction.
Enacts GS 41-74, incorporating GS 41-2(b) to provide that joint tenant interests among two or more joint tenants holding property in joint tenancy with right of survivorship are subject to GS 28A-24-3 (requirement of survival by 120 hours) upon the death of one or more of the joint tenants.
Enacts GS 41-75 to exempt from the Article's provisions executors or trustees in their representative capacity, partnerships governed by GS Chapter 59, business entities, accounts established under GS 41-2.1 (right of survivorship in bank deposits created by written agreement) or GS 41-2.2 (joint ownership of securities) to the extent inconsistent with the provisions of the statute, and life estates.
Enacts GS 41-76 to establish that common law and principles of equity supplement the Article, but in the event of conflict, the Article or state law controls.
Repeals the remainder of GS 41-2, which is not incorporated in the new Article.