Orange County California

Trust Attorneys


Real Property and Joint Tenant Title Changes

joint tenant estate taxCalifornia homeowners benefit from Proposition 13, which keeps property taxes relatively low by basing them on the purchase price of the property, rather than the current fair market value of the property. When the property is sold or transferred, reassessment of property taxes may occur, causing an upward and unwanted adjustment. Fortunately, this does not apply when the transfer involves merely adding a joint tenant to the deed. However, be sure to consult with an attorney about the ramifications of such a transfer. A reassessment may result when one or more of the joint tenants subsequently pass away.

It’s important to note that adding a partner or loved one to the title of a piece of real estate only applies to that specific property and does not affect the entirety of the estate. Taking time to plan and get your financial estate in order can save your loved ones valuable time, energy, and taxes when the time comes. Creating a well-thought-out trust can provide for if your partner passes before you. It also makes sure that the secondary beneficiaries are able to avoid probate.

Planning an Estate Plan

A smart estate plan will implement adding a joint tenant to a title in situations where it makes sense. Making time to gather your asset’s information and evaluate what would happen if you keep things the way you have them now. Looking at the cost of probate in California and evaluating if your property may have to be sold to pay for probate rather than going to your loved ones is an important part of providing for your family and protecting your assets. There are also other benefits to moving property into an estate rather than simply changing the title. To evaluate the best options for you, we encourage you to schedule an appointment HERE or to attend one of our free monthly seminars to really understand what would best suit your situation.

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