Changing title under spouse’s nose

Can co-owner legally switch from joint tenancy to tenancy in common?

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DEAR BOB: My mother, now divorced, owned a house with her former husband. But before the divorce papers were finalized, without my mother's knowledge he changed his title to the house from joint tenancy with right of survivorship to tenants in common. He passed away recently. Now his nephew is claiming the house under his will. My mother is still on the title and loan papers. Can a joint tenancy title be changed without permission of the other joint tenant, and is my mother entitled to all or half of the property? --Leslie LeB. DEAR LESLIE: For simplicity, I presume the house is not in a state allowing a married couple to hold title as tenants by the entireties (a special form of joint tenancy that cannot be terminated by one spouse alone). If the divorce settlement papers didn't specify what was to happen to the house title after the divorce, each still owned half of the house after the divorce. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. Unfortunately for your mother, a joint tenant with ...