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Where there are three joint tenants and one conveys his interest to a third party, the joint tenancy is severed only as to the part conveyed. The third party grantee becomes a tenant in common with the other two joint tenants, but the latter still hold the remaining two thirds as joint tenants with right of survivorship therein.
Three sisters held land in joint tenancy. One sister conveyed her interest to joint tenant decedent. Decedent's will devised her interest in the property to plaintiffs, who commenced suit against the remaining joint tenant to partition the real estate, claiming entitlement to two-thirds of the property on a theory that the conveyance had severed the joint tenancy in its entirety.
Did the conveyance by one of three joint tenants of real estate to another of the joint tenants destroy the joint tenancy in its entirety?
In affirming the trial court's determination, the court concluded that the conveyance of a one-third interest severed the joint tenancy as to that portion only, and the joint tenancy remained on the balance of the undivided interest. Thus, decedent and defendant held two-thirds of the property by a joint tenancy, with decedent's interest passing upon her death to the surviving joint tenant. Decedent had owned the one-third portion as a tenant-in-common, and her interest in that portion passed by devise to plaintiffs.