Which Real Estate title is right for you?
Tips for Home Buyers to purchase a property
Many home buyers often ask themselves how to take title of a property they are about to buy.
You probably heard the expressions Sole Ownership, Co-Ownership and
Trust Ownership before. But, do you know which one is right for you?
Here are a few definitions and tips to help you select the right form of title ownership
Sole Ownership is right for you and applicable in the following cases:
- if you are single
- if you are legally divorced (i.e. unmarried)
- if you are married and wish to acquire title as your “sole and separate property”. In this case, you need the consent of your spouse who will relinquish all rights, titles and interests to the property.
of real property occurs when title is held by two or more persons.
There are several variations of co-ownership as follows:
- Joint Tenancy
is an equal interest in a property with right of survivorship. In other
words, when people own property as joint tenants, upon the death of one
of the co-owners, the title to the property automatically transfers to
the surviving owner or owners. There is no probate or other legal
proceeding required. However, if either joint tenant transfers his or
her share to someone else, it automatically terminates the joint tenancy
and converts the title into a Tenancy in Common.
- Tenancy in Common
in which co-owners own undivided interests; Unlike joint tenancy
though, these interests need not be equal in quantity and there is no
right of survivorship, i.e. following the death of either tenant, their
interest will vest in favor of his or her heir(s) or devisee.
Community Property without Right of Survivorship
which applies to properties acquired by a husband or wife or a
registered domestic partner during the marriage other than by gift,
bequest, devise or inheritance. In this case, each spouse has the right
to dispose of his or her one half of the community property in his or
her will to someone else (such as a child from a former marriage or
- Community Property with Right of Survivorship:
Effective July 1, 2001, California Civil Code authorized a husband and
his wife to hold title to their property as "community property with
right of survivorship”. Registered domestic partners have many of the
same legal rights as spouses and are also able take title in this manner
since 2003. Community property with a right of survivorship enable the
survivor to automatically own the community property. No probate will be
necessary to make the transfer. The process of transferring title to
the surviving spouse or domestic partner will be straightforward.
some of you may already know, there are two types of trusts: Living
trusts and Testamentary trusts.
Testamentary trusts are established
through a last will and testament whereas living trusts are created
while one is alive.
A living trust is an agreement where a trustee holds the legal
possession of funds or assets that belong to a beneficiary. One of the
key advantages of establishing a living trust is that assets do not have
to go through probate, which can be costly and take a lot of time.
A living trust
can be used to hold title to the property during the lifetime of the
trustor, who is also named as the beneficiary of the trust. When the
trustor dies, title to the property held in trust passes to the
contingent beneficiary named in the trust document. A living trust can
also be created by a married couple, with the property held in trust
going to the contingent beneficiary on the death of the second spouse.