Under South Dakota law, there are a variety of ways to title property. Title is the method in which property is owned. How property is titled impacts the drafting of your estate plan. In South Dakota, title is commonly held in three different ways: sole ownership, joint tenancy, and tenancy in common.
In a tenancy in common, two or more persons hold exclusive interest in the same property with no right of survivorship for the surviving tenant in common. Exclusive interest in the property means that each tenant in common has exclusive ownership in the entire property, not just a section of the property. Additionally, each tenant in common can transfer their share of the property by selling it, transferring it, giving it away, or by their choice at death through a will. Unlike joint tenancy, when a tenant in common passes away there is no right to survivorship. Basically, that means that upon the death of a tenant in common the ownership interest in the property passes to the heirs of the deceased in accordance with the South Dakota law of intestate succession, if you do not have a will, or to the beneficiaries named in the will of the deceased.