How Should I Own My House? – Part 1
Purchasing a home, whether it be a condo, a house or a vacation property is a huge milestone for most people. While there are many things to consider in the purchase of a property, one that is sometimes overlooked is how to title the property for effective Estate Planning. Title is the legal way that a property is owned. This blog series will explore the different ways that a property can be titled in California and the potential impact on Estate Planning. Prior to completing the purchase of any property, it is advisable to speak with an estate planning lawyer in California who can best advise you about your options.
Title in your personal name
Many people who purchase property do so and register title in their own name. As the only owner, this affords you the most control over the property. One of the downfalls of owning property in your own name is that upon your death, the property will not be transferred to your will, trust or intestate beneficiaries without the involvement of probate court. This can be time-consuming and stressful and if the property is valuable, then you may pay significant probate and legal fees.
Joint tenancy with right of survivorship is a very popular method of titling property for married couples. Upon the death of one spouse, the property is transferred automatically to the survivor without the need for probate court. It should be noted that this method of titling property is not limited to spouses. You cannot dispose of an asset held in joint-tenancy in a will or have your individual share transferred to a trust. Once the deceased’s share is transferred, the survivor will own the property in their individual name.
In part two of this blog series, will discuss the benefits of titling property through a Trust or LLC.
If you are considering purchasing property and want to know about the potential estate planning implications, contact Kushner Legal today to schedule a consultation.