In Illinois, Tenancy-by-the Entirety (TBE) is a form of holding title to real estate exclusive to a husband and wife. It can only be used on their personal residence.

There is a Big Benefit to using TBE as a method of holding a title. Let me describe it this way. Your spouse has a spending addiction. They are embarrassed and ashamed, so they keep it from you. One way they do this is by getting credit solely in their name. You don’t really know about the problem or how much debt your spouse has run up until the creditors are knocking at the door. They want their money. The creditors are pushing for the personal residence to be sold so they can get paid.

Here’s the Big Benefit. In a TBE the creditor of one spouse cannot lien or force the sale of the primary residence because of the debt of just one of the spouses.

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What is the Difference Between Tenancy-by-the-Entirety and Joint Tenancy?

Furthermore, unlike a joint tenancy, neither spouse can terminate the TBE unilaterally.

How would the TBE concept be used in conjunction with a Land Trust? You can get the best of both worlds, the privacy and asset protection benefits of the Land Trust AND the TBE advantage. You do this by listing the beneficiaries of the Land Trust in each of the spouses’ names as 100% Tenants-by-the-Entirety.


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