2019 West Virginia Code
Chapter 36. Estates and Property
Article 1. Creation of Estates Generally
§36-1-20. When Survivorship Preserved

Universal Citation: WV Code § 36-1-20 (2019)

(a) Section nineteen of this article does not apply to any estate which joint tenants have as executors or trustees, nor to an estate conveyed or devised to persons in their own right, when it manifestly appears from the tenor of the instrument that it was intended that the part of the one dying should then belong to the others. Neither shall it affect the mode of proceeding on any joint judgment or decree in favor of, or on any contract with, two or more, one of whom dies.

(b) When the instrument of conveyance or ownership in any estate, whether real estate or tangible or intangible personal property, links multiple owners together with the disjunctive “or,” such ownership shall be held as joint tenants with the right of survivorship, unless expressly stated otherwise.

(c) A person convicted of violating the provisions of section one or three, article two, chapter sixty-one of this code as a principal, aider and abettor or accessory before the fact, or convicted of a similar provision of law of another state or the United States, or who has been convicted of an offense causing the death of an incapacitated adult set forth in section twenty-nine-a, article two, chapter sixty-one of this code, as a principal, aider and abettor or accessory before the fact, or convicted of a similar provision of law of another state or the United States, may not take or acquire any real or personal property by survivorship pursuant to this section when the victim of the criminal offense was a joint holder of title to the property. The property to which the convicted person would otherwise have been entitled shall go to the person or persons who would have taken the property if the convicted person had predeceased the victim.

(d) A person who has been convicted of an offense of abuse or neglect of an incapacitated adult pursuant to section twenty-nine, article two, chapter sixty-one of this code, a felony offense of financial exploitation of an elderly person, protected person or an incapacitated adult pursuant to section twenty-nine–b of that article, or convicted of a similar provision of law of another state or the United States, may not take or acquire any real or personal property by survivorship pursuant to this section, when the victim of the criminal offense is a joint holder of the title to the property. The money or property which the person would have otherwise have received shall go to the person or persons who would have taken the money or property if the convicted person had predeceased the victim. This subsection does not apply if, after the conviction, the victim of the offense, if competent, executes a recordable instrument, sworn to, notarized and witnessed by two persons that would be competent as witnesses to a will of the victim, expresses a specific intent to allow the person so convicted to retain his or her tenancy in the property with rights of survivorship.

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