First of all, we recommend that you discuss the various title options with your lawyer or accountant before making any decisions that will affect the title to your new property. Here are some of the options that may be available to you:
· Community Property: for married persons only. The State of California assumes all property acquired by husband and wife is community property. One spouse cannot partition the property by selling his or her interest, but each spouse can will one-half of the community property separately.
· Community Property with Right of Survivorship: for married persons only. As above, except: upon the death of one spouse, the estate passes to the other spouse outside of probate.
· Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship: this method of ownership gives title to the last survivor. The individuals can be either married or unmarried, but married persons must specifically accept the joint tenancy to avoid the presumption of community property. Each joint tenant holds an equal interest in the estate, and can partition the property by selling his or her joint interest. Upon death, the estate passes to the surviving Joint Tenants outside of probate.
· Tenancy in Common: parties do not have survivorship rights and each owns a specific interest in the entire title. Each tenant’s share can be conveyed, mortgaged, or devised to a third party. Upon death, the tenant’s proportionate share passes to his or her heirs.
· Sole and Separate: real property acquired by a spouse before marriage or any acquired after marriage by gift, descent, or specific intent. If a married person acquires title as sole and separate property, his/her spouse must execute a disclaimer deed.
· Corporation: title may be taken in the name of a corporation if that corporation is duly formed and in good standing in the state of its incorporation.
· General Partnership: title may be taken in the name of a general partnership duly formed under the laws of the state of the formation of the partnership.
· Limited Partnership: title may be taken in the name of a limited partnership under the laws of the State of California or another state. A Certificate of Limited partnership must be filed in the Office of the Secretary of State, a certified copy of which must be recorded.
Again, please consult your attorney or accountant before making any decisions on how you will hold title to property in California. We are real estate agents in California – we are NOT lawyers or accountants. The options above are just informational, and should not be construed as legal advice.