Survivorship Deed Law and Legal Definition

A survivorship deed is a deed conveying title to real estate into the names of two or more persons as joint tenants with rights of survivorship. Upon the death of one owner, the property passes to and vests in the name of the surviving owner or owners. This deed may be a warranty deed, quitclaim deed, or fiduciary deed.

A survivorship deed is typically used when a husband and wife purchase real property together. It provides a means of avoiding probate when the first spouse dies, although it will be subject to being probated when the surviving spouse dies. With a survivorship deed, the last living person named on the deed becomes the 100% owner of the property. If the objective is to divide the property equally among several people, a survivorship deed should not be used.