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COMMON METHODS OF HOLDING TITLE:

 

Title to real property in California may be held by individuals, either in Sole Ownership or in Co-Ownership. Co-Ownership of real property occurs when title is held by two or more persons. There are several ways to hold title in each type of ownership. The following is a brief summary referencing the more common examples of Sole Ownership and Co-Ownership.

 

The following is for informational purposes only. We strongly suggest contacting an attorney and/CPA for specific advice on how you should take title.

 

SOLE OWNERSHIP: A single Man or Woman. A man or woman who is not legally married. Example: John Doe, a single man.

 

AN UNMARRIED MAN/WOMAN: A man or woman who was previously married and is legally divorced. Example: John Doe, an unmarried man.

 

A MARRIED MAN/WOMAN AS HIS/HER SOLE AND SEPARATE PROPERTY: A married man or woman who wishes to acquire title in his or her name alone. Example: John Doe, a married man as his sole and separate property.

 

The spouse must execute a Quitclaim Deed to relinquish all right, title and interest in subject property.

 

A REGISTERED DOMESTIC PARTNER AS HIS OR HER SOLE AND SEPARATE PROPERTY:

 

A registed domestic partner who wishes to acquire title in his or her name alone.

 

The registered domestic partner must execute a Quitclaim Deed to relinquish all right, title and interest in subject property.

 


COMMUNITY PROPERTY:

 

In California, real property acquired by a married person or a registered domestic partner is presumed to be community property unless otherwise stated. Since all such property is owned equally, both parties must sign all agreements and documents transferring the property or using it as secuirty for loan. Each owner has the right to dispose of his or her one half of the community property by will. Example: John Doe and Mary Doe, husband and wife as Community Property.

 

COMMUNITY PROPERTY WITH RIGHT OF SURVIVORSHIP: Holding title in this manner is similar to holding title as Community Property; however, it adds the benefit of Right of Survivorship. There may be tax benefits for holding title in this manner. Upon the death of one of the spouses, the decedent’s interest in subject property will go to the surviving spouse. Example: John Doe and Mary Doe, husband and wife as Community Property with Right of Survivorship.

 

JOINT TENANCY: Property owned by two or more people, who may or may not be married, in equal interest and subject to the Right of Survivorship to the surviving Joint Tenant. When a Joint Tenant Dies, title to the property is automatically conveyed to the surviving Joint Tenant. Therefore, joint tenancy is not subject to disposition by will. Example: John Doe and Mary Doe, husband and wife as Joint Tenants.

 

TENANCY IN COMMON: When property is owned by two or more individuals with specific undivided interests. Each co-tenant may sell, lease or will his or her interest in subject property. Example: John Doe, a single man as to an undivided 40% interest and Joe Smith, a single man, as to an undivided 60% interest, as TENANTS IN COMMON.