Estate Planning With a Transfer on Death Deed

New Rules for California Homeowners

A parent and child standing outside discussing important things.

Since 2016, California has been offering homeowners a very simple way to transfer their homes to beneficiaries. It’s called the transfer on death deedalso written as TOD deed, TODD, or beneficiary deed. A TOD deed, where a state allows it, enables a named beneficiary to take title without the need for probate or trust administration.

Fast-forward to September 2021. California’s governor has signed Senate Bill 315 into law. This has changed the way a homeowner can create or revoke a transfer on death deed, starting in 2022.

Note: If a California TOD is executed before Jan. 1, 2022, it will be valid.

Now, what’s the difference between the current TOD law and the one that takes effect in 2022? Let’s check it

Continue reading “Estate Planning With a Transfer on Death Deed”

On the Rise (and Protected From Prop 19): The Interspousal Deed in California

Image of people sitting in an office discussing California's Prop 19 and the interspousal grant deed

A quitclaim deed is sometimes used for transferring a home between spouses, but another option in some states is the interspousal transfer grant deed (“interspousal deed”). It, too, can pass a house between spouses without a sale. The interspousal deed, whose entire purpose is to change the ownership on the title, is the preferred instrument for couples in California.

You can find California’s interspousal grant deed here.

Traditionally, interspousal conveyances are not subject to gift or transfer taxes. But in 2021 you might ask: What about California’s Proposition 19? Will that trigger a tax reassessment on interspousal transfer grant deeds now? The short answer is no.

Continue reading “On the Rise (and Protected From Prop 19): The Interspousal Deed in California”

California Mechanic’s Lien Process

Most real estate owners will, at some point, use a contractor to build or improve upon their property. This is generally a straightforward process wherein the contractor arranges the project according to the terms of the contract, and sees it to completion. The satisfied owner then pays the bill. What happens when the contractor finishes the project, but the customer refuses to pay? That’s where the mechanic’s liens apply.

The California Mechanic's Lien Process
Continue reading “California Mechanic’s Lien Process”

Homestead Exemptions and Living Trusts: a Look at California, Florida, and Texas

The information presented in this article is not all-encompassing, nor is it meant to be construed as professional legal advice. Because homestead exemption laws are complicated, consult a qualified attorney with questions regarding homestead exemptions and living trusts in your state.

Via Black’s Law Dictionary, 8th ed., a homestead is “[t]he house, outbuildings, and adjoining land owned and occupied by a person or family as a residence. As long as the homestead does not exceed in area or value the limits fixed by law, in most states it is exempt from forced sale for collection of a debt.” A homestead can only be designated in one jurisdiction, generally where the owner maintains permanent residence.

Continue reading “Homestead Exemptions and Living Trusts: a Look at California, Florida, and Texas”

California Requirements for Change Of Ownership Interest in Real Property BOE-100-B

Filing Requirement – Change in Control
Revenue and Taxation Code Section 480.1

The law requires any person or legal entity acquiring ownership control in any corporation, partnership, limited liability company, or other legal entity owning real property in California subject to local property taxation to complete and file a change in ownership statement with the State Board of Equalization at its office in Sacramento. The change in ownership statement must be filed within 90 days from the date of the change in control of a corporation, partnership, limited liability company, or other legal entity. The law further requires that a change in ownership statement be completed and filed whenever a written request is made therefor by the State Board of Equalization, regardless of whether a change in control of the legal entity has occurred.

Continue reading “California Requirements for Change Of Ownership Interest in Real Property BOE-100-B”

California Now Requires Real Estate Deeds that are Subject to Transfer Tax Show the Tax Amount on the Face of the Deed

Documentary Transfer Tax (AB 1888)

Effective January 1, 2015, pursuant to Assembly Bill 1888, all California County Registrar/Recorder/County Clerk’s Offices will require that “EVERY document subject to tax that is submitted for recordation shall show on the face of the document the amount of tax due and the incorporated or unincorporated location of the lands, tenements, or other realty described in the document” before acceptance for recording.

Continue reading “California Now Requires Real Estate Deeds that are Subject to Transfer Tax Show the Tax Amount on the Face of the Deed”