The escrow process can be overwhelming, especially for first-time buyers. That’s why having a trusted escrow officer is incredibly important to help walk you through the process.

A simple yet effective way to get buyers off to a comfortable start in the escrow process is by providing them with a detailed opening package. Inside is the Vesting Form, which is an integral part of the escrow process that will help outline how the buyer intends to hold title on their new property.

While this form is essentially pretty simple, it holds a great deal of key information that should be given acute attention. That’s because the Vesting Form outlines who is responsible for the costs, benefits and transferability of a property.

When you think about how much of your hard-earned money is poured into a real estate transaction, it’s easy to see why this form is of critical importance. It can certainly help avoid any conflict down the line with partners, spouses, creditors, the IRS, and more.

There are a variety of common ways that you can hold title as a buyer, and here we will take a more in-depth look:

Sole Ownership

  1. As a single man or woman
  2. As a married man or woman
  3. As a registered domestic partner, man or woman


  1. Community property, which is the presumed form for married couples. This entitles each party to equal parts of the property.
  2. Community property with rights of survivorship, which automatically transfers the property to the survivor in the case of a death.

Joint Tenancy

  1. This includes equal interests with rights of survivorship, but where the partners aren’t necessarily married.

Tenancy in Common

  1. In this form, the parties’ interests are broken up, and the costs and benefits are then divided as such.

When selecting how you will hold title, it is important to remember that all of these have different inheritance and/or tax implications. So, which one is right for you? Some great resources to inquire with include your attorney, CPA or estate planner, but your escrow officer is fully equipped to assist you with questions as well.

While we cannot recommend what might be best in your unique situation, we can certainly help clarify information and help guide you to who you might want to consult with.

Understanding holding title and the Vesting Form will help make your real estate transaction a smooth one. Please reach out to our expert team for assistance. We are happy to help!