Deeds and Property Transfer Lawyer In California

Property transfer and estate planning go hand in hand. If you own property in California and are thinking about your future, you may be considering how to transfer your property to your loved ones when the time comes. But, where do you start?

What Is a Property Deed?

A property deed is a legal document that proves ownership of a piece of property. It provides details about the property and its owners. If you want to transfer a property in California, you must prepare a deed and file it with the county recorder's office.

Deeds can be complicated, but they don't have to be. It's my job as your estate planning lawyer to guide you through this process and make it as smooth as possible.

How Can Property Be Transferred?

There are a few ways property can be transferred in California. The method used depends on your specific circumstances and needs. Here are some examples:

  • Sale: You sell the property to someone else and transfer the deed to them.
  • Gift: You can gift the property to someone, often a loved one, during your lifetime.
  • Inheritance: If you include the property in your will, it will be transferred to the person you designated after your passing.
  • Trust: You can transfer the property to a living trust, which allows for a smooth transition upon your passing, avoiding probate.

Which Type of Deed Should I Use?

There are several types of deeds used in California, and each serves a different purpose.

  • Grant Deed: This is the most common type of deed used in California. It promises that the owner hasn't transferred the title to someone else or burdened the property with any undisclosed encumbrances.
  • Quitclaim Deed: This is often used in divorces when one spouse transfers their interest in the property to the other.
  • Interspousal Transfer Deed: This is similar to a quitclaim deed but used only between spouses and won't trigger a reassessment of property taxes.
  • Transfer-on-death (TOD) deed: This allows you to name a beneficiary who will inherit the property when you die, without going through probate.

What about Estate Taxes?

Estate taxes can be a concern when transferring property, but it doesn't have to be. The federal estate tax exemption is quite high, and California doesn't have an estate tax. However, if your estate is substantial, it might be worth considering strategies to minimize potential estate taxes.

Help with Deeds and Estate Planning

I'd be happy to talk to you about these options. Just reach out. I don't bite, and your consultation is free. Call me today at (805) 307-7713 or contact me online for a free initial strategy session and get the help you deserve.