On the stock certificate for our co-op, it just lists “John & Jane Smith.” Does that mean we own it “tenants by entirety” or “tenants in common?” If we want “tenants by entirety,” do we need to have it re-issued to state so?
“It depends on when you acquired ownership,” says attorney Len Ritz of the law firm of Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C in
Manhattan. “If it was after Jan 1, 1996, then the presumption is that a married couple takes
ownership as tenants by the entirety, even if the stock certificate does not
explicitly say so. So there is nothing you would need to do.
“If ownership pre-dates January 1, 1996, then your ownership is as tenants in
common, and you would need to review the proprietary lease to determine whether
the board has any right to withhold consent to a change in form of ownership.”