When acquiring real estate, automatic transfer on death to a co-owner is a good idea. But relationships change and the bond of co-ownership must be broken.
—Mark W. Bidwell
HUNTINGTON BEACH, California, USA, July 21, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — This Deed and Record article explains how to break joint ownership of California real estate. When acquiring real estate, automatic transfer on death to a co-owner can be a good idea. But life and relationships change and the co-ownership bond must be broken.
People who own real estate in joint ownership avoid probate on the death of the first owner. By “operation of law”, the property of the deceased is transferred to the survivor. When real estate was acquired, the automatic transfer on death of California real estate seemed like a good idea or just wasn’t properly considered. Now the dying owner realizes what is to come and wants his interest to go to someone other than the surviving co-owner. The solution is severe co-ownership.
The separation is best done by deed registered with the county. There are two options. The first option is a deed that transfers legal title to the joint tenant’s interest to a third party. This method may increase capital gains tax when the property is subsequently sold by the third party. But it avoids probate court and its costs.
The second option is an act of the owner to himself as tenant in common. The major problem with an act of oneself is approval. The separate interest of the deceased owner must be transferred by the probate court. The person to inherit will be identified in the deceased’s will. Or if there is no will, the next of kin of the deceased owner will inherit.
For both options, timing is an issue. It takes time to prepare, execute and recognize the deed before a notary. The deed must then be registered. If the deed is registered before the death, it is a valid transfer. If the deed is registered after death, registration must take place within seven days of death and signing must take place three days before death for a transfer to be valid.
When acquiring real estate, automatic transfer on death to a co-owner can be a good idea. But life and relationships change. An owner can unilaterally terminate the co-ownership by a deed. The deed transfers ownership either to a third party or from self to self.
This article is provided by Mark W. Bidwell, a California attorney. The office is located at 4952 Warner Avenue, Suite 235, Huntington Beach, CA 92649. The phone is 714-846-2888. The email is [email protected]
Mark W. Bidwell, a law firm
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