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Understanding Passage Of Title In California

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

California has several types of certificates of title to real property, which is a recorded document that shows ownership of real estate. Ways to pass title from one person to another are based on the type of title. Real estate sales are done through deeds. Keep reading to learn how to convey title in the Golden State.

Sole or several ownership

This type of title shows real estate ownership for one person. Therefore, the owner is free to transfer title in any way she/he sees fit, including gifting or sale, when alive through a signature on the instrument of transfer/deed of conveyance or after death by willing to heirs or other beneficiaries.

Tenancy in common

When two or more persons own title to one property. Each owner may hold a different percentage in the property that must be stated in the Deed of Trust. Tenancy in common is often used in business deals. Each co-owner has the same basic rights as that of a sole owner to transfer title, such as through sale or willing to beneficiaries, but only with their percentage of the property. It may be difficult for anyone wanting to purchase one owner's interest in the property if a loan is needed to do so, as lenders are unwilling to own a portion of the property in case of loan default. Should an owner die, there is no right of survivorship where the remaining owners take over the real estate.

Joint tenancy

A second way for two or more people to take title to a single property. Interest is divided equally among all tenants. However, if a joint tenant dies, the remaining joint tenant(s) automatically acquires her/his interest in equal percentages. Rights and obligations generally are the same as for tenancy in common, but property interest cannot be passed by will to any party and is not subject to probate.

Community property

Community property is all property, including real estate, acquired by a husband and wife during a valid marriage. Both spouses have equal control (50%) over real estate conveyed by community property. Neither spouse can will, gift, sell or otherwise pass title without the consent and signature of the other spouse. However, either spouse can will their half of the real estate to heirs or beneficiaries. Without a will, passage of title for the deceased spouse goes to the living spouse.

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About The Author

Elizabeth R. Elstien has worked in real estate for over 15 years as a real estate...

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