Joint Tenancies in Iowa Today

29 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2012

See all articles by N. William Hines

N. William Hines

University of Iowa - College of Law

Date Written: January 25, 2012


This paper updates the author's extensive earlier research on Iowa joint tenancies, which was published in the 1960s. The earlier research revealed that, while joint tenancy law had changed very little in the past five hundred years, patterns of joint tenancy usage had expanded greatly, particularly in property holdings by married couples.

This paper traces the changes in Iowa joint tenancy law since the 1960s. It posits that, in respect to joint tenancies in real property and tangible personal property, the law has changed very little, except for adoption of an "Intent" analysis to replace the former "Four Unities" test for determining severance issues. Far greater change is observed, however, in the Iowa law governing joint and survivor accounts with financial institutions. With respect to such joint and survivor accounts, the author suggests how the law might still be improved to make such accounts more effective in achieving the goals of the parties who create them.

Keywords: Joint Tenancy, Concurrent Ownership, Tenancy in Common, Survivorship Rights, Joint and Survivor Accounts, Creation of Joint Tenancies, Severence of Joint Tenancies, Lifetime Rights of Joint Tenants, Transfer on Death Ownership Forms, Pay on Death Ownership Forms

Suggested Citation

Hines, N. William, Joint Tenancies in Iowa Today (January 25, 2012). U Iowa Legal Studies Research Paper No. 12-04, Available at SSRN: or

N. William Hines (Contact Author)

University of Iowa - College of Law ( email )

Melrose and Byington
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States

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