Nolo's Plain-English Law Dictionary

Tenancy By The Entirety

A special kind of ownership that's similar to joint tenancy but is only for married couples and, in a few states, same-sex couples who have registered with the state. It is available in about half the states. Both spouses have the right to enjoy the entire property. Neither one can unilaterally end the tenancy, and creditors of one spouse cannot force a sale of the property to collect on a debt. When one dies, the survivor automatically gets title to the entire property without a probate court proceeding. Also called "tenancy by the entireties." Compare: joint tenancy