Title.

 

In California, title to real property may be held individuals in either Sole Ownership or in Co-Ownership (when held by two or more persons). In each instance, there are a number of variations as to exactly how title may be held. In this blog, we will discuss 8 of the most common situations.

Ways-to-hold-title

 

  1. Title may be held as a single man or woman who is not legally married
  2. You may hold title as an unmarried man or woman. This is different from holding title as a single man/woman because it refers to someone has has been legally divorced or who has dissolved a registered domestic partnership.
  3. If a married man/woman or a registered domestic partner desires to hold title in his or her name alone, he or she may do so with consent from the spouse/partner. Consent is given through a quitclaim deed that relinquishes all right or interest in the property. Thus, it is possible to hold sole and separate property, even if legally married.
  4. As defined in the California Civil Code, community property is property that has been acquired by either a husband or wife. When real property is conveyed to a married man or woman (or those in a domestic partnership), it becomes community property unless otherwise specified. This gives both spouses the right to dispose of exactly half of the property. If one spouse was to pass away, their half of the community property would automatically transfer to the surviving spouse. However, it is possible to leave one’s share of the property to a third party via a will.
  5. The Civil Code defines joint tenancy  as “owned by two or more persons in equal shares, by title created by a single will or transfer when expressly declared in the will or transfer to be joint tenancy.” Each share is equal. This style of holding title is made unique by the “right of survivorship” which declares that when a member hold joint tenancy dies, his or her interest in the property is automatically given to the survivor. A major advantage is that probate costs and delays are avoided when a joint tenant dies. However, it is important to note that property held in joint tenancy is not susceptible to being transferred to a third party by a will.
  6. Similar to joint tenancy, tenancy in common occurs when co-owners hold undivided interests, BUT these shares do not need to be equal or established at the same time. Another difference is that there is no right of survivorship, meaning that upon death each person may vest his or her interest to an heir.  A disadvantage to this is that the remaining tenant in common could wind up co-owning property with a stranger.
  7. Married couples and domestic partners have the ability to hold title as community property with right of survivorship, meaning that no share of the property may be given to anyone other than the surviving spouse or partner. This must be specified in writing that is signed by the grantees.
  8. Lastly, title to real property may be held in a living trust. In this scenario, a trustee would hold the legal and equitable title to the property for the beneficiary who is to retrain all of the rights and responsibilities. There are many advantages to a living trust, including avoidance of probate costs and delays. Further, until the death or disability of the trust creator, the property in the living trust is treated normally.

This chart from Fidelity helps to clarify:

chart

 

As a home owner, it is essential to not only familiarize yourself with the various ways to hold title, but also to be certain as to how you are holding title to your real property.

This knowledge is important because it may influence many tax and legal consequences during your life time and how (and whether) the property is transferred to your heirs when you die.

title-pic

There are significant tax and legal consequences that stem from how you hold title. We strongly encourage contacting an attorney and/or CPA for specific advice on how you should actually vest your title.

 

 

Congratulations to KC!

By: Lauren Weber and Michelle Accetta

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What a pleasure and honor to have met KC and to have represented her in selling her home. From the moment we met KC we could tell she was a successful business woman. Working with her we witnessed first hand how she became this way. She always had a positive attitude, and business minded mentality. It was easy to see how this mindset brought her such success.

Upon closing, we took KC out to dinner to spend some time celebrating the closing escrow. Little did we know WE were the ones actually in for a treat. KC openly shared about her travels and her appreciation for immersing herself in different cultures with us. We got to learn the story of how she acquired her success and her advise for us as younger entrepreneurs. We left inspired!

What moved us most about KC is the freedom she has to create her life. She worked hard straight out of college to grow her business and wealth. She shared with us how owning income property has played a large role in her success and the story of how she starting acquiring property. Her persistence and grit paid off, and she now spends periods of time each year traveling the world and enjoying different cultures (something both of us are passionate about doing). KC is a real example of what hard work and making smart moves can get you and truly is an inspiration to us. We take her words of worldly wisdom wholeheartedly. 

Working with KC she also reminded us of the importance of appreciation. Throughout the process, she always showed her gratitude and thanked us for our hard work. This made us grateful to her and to have the opportunity to work with her as our client, to go above and beyond and make sure she was taken care of. The small words “thank you” can go a far way and we will always take that with us with every person we encounter. She shared that is was her travels that made her so appreciative for everything that we have here in America, day in and day out. We are so grateful and thankful to have met KC and are forever thankful for her kindness and wisdom.

Commercial Office Lease

Congratulations to my client’s, 3PL Systems, for moving into their new office space! They are a freight broker software company and their on-going success has brought them to look for a new place to host their growing team.

If you are a company and looking for a space to lease out, you may want to consider working with a real estate agent. There is not cost to you, as the agent gets paid out by the landlord or listing brokerage and they can help negotiate on your behalf to get you the most for your new space.
Things that can be negotiated:
-Price per square foot for monthly rent
-Terms of lease (years and a couple of month’s free rent)
-Tenant improvements (instillation of window in second office, dry erase paint in private offices, kitchen area, etc.)
-Parking
-Maintenance

Thank you to this fabulous and fun company for entrusting me with your move!

You can check out their website here: 3PL Systems