Deeds and Title

Ownership and Deeds in Arizona

Every state is slightly different in its laws regarding property ownership. Knowing the basics of property law generally in the United States can go a long way. However, as you buy and sell properties in a state, knowing that market’s specific laws and preferences can help to set expectations and make your transactions move forward more smoothly. 

In this article, we walk through some of the key ownership considerations in Arizona.

Types of Ownership in Arizona

Arizona recognizes five basic types of ownership: sole ownership, community property, community property with right of survivorship, joint tenants, and tenants in common. 

Sole Ownership in Arizona

In this type of ownership, one individual or entity owns the property completely with no other tenants. 

While this may seem straightforward on its face, there is a wrinkle that affects sole ownership. In order for a spouse to take sole ownership in Arizona, the deed must show the property to be the owner’s “sole and separate property.” Additionally, the non-owner spouse must sign a disclaimer deed which is also recorded with the proper county. 

Community Property in Arizona

Arizona is one of the nine traditional community property states. Any property acquired during a marriage is considered to be the property of both spouses. 

The wrinkle in Arizona is what occurs when one spouse dies. In standard community property, the spouse’s share of the community property often passes to the surviving spouse. However, non-community property, such as assets obtained prior to the marriage, pass to the deceased spouse’s heirs, either through common law or a will. 

Arizona recognizes the concept of community property with a right of survivorship. This doctrine allows spouses to agree in writing that particular non-community property assets will be considered community property. In such cases, rather than those assets passing according to a will or common law, the assets are immediately owned by the surviving spouse.  

Joint Tenants in Arizona

For non-spouses, Arizona recognizes joint tenancy with right of survivorship as a common form of joint ownership. This form allows multiple people or entities to own a title interest to the property, and comes with various rights and responsibilities. In particular, joint tenancies with right of survivorship involve all parties having equal ownership, and the right to assume another owner’s interest in the event the other owner dies. 

Tenancy in Common in Arizona

Another common form of joint ownership in Arizona for non-spouse owners is the tenancy in common. Tenancy in common allows multiple owners to own title in a property, but rather than owning equally, the owners can set varying ownership percentages. For example, one owner could own 51% of the property, with the other owning 49%. Additionally, an owner’s share would pass to the owner’s heirs upon death, rather than passing to the other tenants in common. 

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Types of Deeds in Arizona

The most common deed form in Arizona is the warranty deed. Warranty deeds provide protection to the buyer in the form of a warranty by the seller that guarantees no issues with the title.

Quitclaim deeds are available in Arizona, but often not insurable. Additional underwriting may be required if a quitclaim deed is being used for a sale.


Knowing how a property is typically conveyed in a state, and what types of ownership are available for the title, can go a long way to ensuring a smooth transaction. 

Arizona is a community property state, meaning that understanding that form of co-ownership is important for buying and selling homes. Understanding how community property works, how rights of survivorship can play a role, and what this means for your transaction can help you know what to expect. 

*The information provided on this site does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal, financial, tax, or real estate advice. Please consult your expert for advice in those areas. All content is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to provide a complete description of the subject matter. Although Blueprint provides information it believes to be accurate, Blueprint makes no representations or warranties about the accuracy or completeness of the information contained on this site. Specific processes will vary based on applicable law. The title and closing process will be handled by a third-party attorney to the extent required by law. Product offerings vary by jurisdiction and are not available or solicited in any state where we are not licensed.

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