California deeds prepared and recorded to:
Transfer real property to an individual’s trust
Transfer real property to a married couple’s trust
Add spouse as owner of real property
Remove spouse as owner due to divorce and dissolution of marriage
Transfer real property to California Limited Liability Company (“LLC”)
Trusts must be funded with real property to avoid probate. Funding is by deed from the owner to the owner as trustee of his or her trust. There is no transfer tax, property tax increase or transfer tax on trust transfers. On death of the owner, the successor trustee transfers real property by deed to heirs of the decedent.
Adding a spouse as owner without a trust should be titled as “community property with right of survivorship.” “Right of Survivorship” avoids probate on the death of the first spouse. By operation of California law ownership of the first-to-die spouse disappears and the surviving spouse is the sole owner. The “community property” designation reduces or eliminates capital gains tax. The surviving spouse receives a full step-up in basis on real property.
In divorce or dissolution of marriage ownership of real property of the marriage is awarded to one spouse. The spouse awarded the real property must be the sole owner of record to sell, refinance or borrow on the property. If the non-owning spouse remains on title as owner he or she may inherit the house on the death of the other spouse. The non-owning spouse conveys his or her ownership interest by deed.
California Limited Liabilities Companies (“LLCs”) are often used to own real property for asset protection. To shield the owner from individual liability the real property must be owned by the LLC. Prior to transfer the owner should obtain written permission from the lender. Real estate securing a loan has a “due on sale” clause in the promissory note.
What is a Quit Claim Deed?
A quit claim deed does not contain any implied warranties. The owner who quit-claims real estate simply conveys whatever ownership interest he or she has along with any debt or loans secured by the property. The quitclaim owner makes no promises and the property is taken “as is.” A quit claim is the easiest and cheapest way to transfer ownership to a trust, add or remove a co-owner or give away a timeshare.
Why File a Preliminary Change of Title Report?
Each county assessor's office in California reviews all recorded deeds for that county to determine which properties require reappraisal under the law. Proposition 13 requires the county assessor to reassess the property to its current fair market value as of the date the change.
Since property taxes are based on the assessed value of a property at the time of acquisition, a current market value that is higher than the previously assessed Proposition 13 adjusted base year value will increase the property taxes. But there are exclusions.
To obtain the exclusion, the grantee fills out a form for the county assessor entitled Preliminary Change of Ownership Report (PCOR). Examples of exclusions from reassessment are: transfers of real property between husband and wife, which include transfers in and out of a trust for the benefit of a spouse, the addition of a spouse on a deed, transfers upon the death of a spouse, and transfers pursuant to a divorce settlement or court order.
Why Record the Deed?
The deed must be made part of the public record so the world knows there has been a change of ownership. The deed must be recorded in the county where the real property is located.
Make it Legal
A properly prepared quit claim deed must have a legal description so the county recorder’s office can add the deed to the public chain of title. The legal description is not the street address. The legal description has at a minimum the map, tract, block and lot number of the real estate property. The county recorder will not accept a quit claim deed without a legal description.
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California quit claim deed $149
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Now you can use the internet to have your quit claim deed prepared and recorded. With the internet you never leave your house while at the same time you receive personal service from a real person.
We provide internet service to change ownership or title in real property by quit claim deed.
Affidavits are prepared for death of joint tenant or death of trustee.
Service includes Preliminary Change of Ownership Report and filing all documents with the county recorder’s office.
Parent to Child Transfers and Grandparent to Grandchild Transfers
Real property and land transfers from parent to child and from grandparent to grandchild have documentary tax, property tax and capital gains tax traps and tax savings.
Change in California real estate ownership may incur documentary transfer tax and capital gains tax. Ownership changes may increase future property taxes. For simplicity, the term "parent-child exclusion" refers to both the parent-child exclusion and the grandparent-grandchild exclusion.
Change in ownership of real property increases the base for property tax. The increase is either the sale price or the market value at date of ownership change. California excludes the first $1 million plus the principal residence of the parents in parent-child transfers. ‘Claim for Reassessment Exclusion for Transfer between Parent and Child’ form must be filed within three years after the date of the transfer to obtain this exclusion.
A transfer while the parent is living is a gift. In legal jargon an ‘inter vivos’ gift. The purchase price paid by the parent, (the basis) transfers with the property. The child assumes the parent’s basis or purchase price in the property. Any future sale will incur a tax on the difference between the parent’s basis and the sales price.
A transfer or inheritance due to death receives a ‘step-up’ in basis. The parent’s purchase price or basis disappears. The new basis is the market value of the real estate on the date of death of the parent. A sale in the future incurs capital tax on the difference between the market value on date of parent’s death and the sales price.
The last tax on land and real property transfers is the documentary tax. This tax currently is $1.10 per thousand dollars plus any local government additions. The California Revenue and Taxation Code Section 11930 exempts all grants, assigns, transfers or conveys that are gifts or transfers due to death. But the grant deed or quit claim deed must state under penalty of perjury on the face of the deed this exemption to avoid the documentary tax.
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