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Francine Di Palma
Francine Di Palma
Senior Sales Associate
510-541-2427
510-982-4421

Berkeley Pacific Union
1625 Shattuck Ave.,
Berkeley, CA 94709
Francine Di Palma, CRS, SRES, E-Pro
Email: Francine@FrancineDiPalma.com
Direct Line: 510-982-4421
Cell: 510-541-2427

Understanding Common Ways of Holding Title

The important issue of how buyers should take title is one that should be discussed with a lawyer who will be able to determine the most advantageous form of ownership for one's particular situation.

SOLE OWNERSHIP
Sole ownership is described as ownership by an individual or another entity capable of acquiring title. Some examples of sole ownership are:
  1. A Single Man/Woman who has not been legally married.
  2. An Unmarried Man/Woman is one who was previously married and is now legally divorced.
  3. A Married Man/Woman as His/Her Sole and Separate Property is a married man or woman who wishes to acquire title in his or her name alone. In this case, the spouse of the married man or woman acquiring title must relinquish his or her right, title and interest to the property.
CO-OWNERSHIP
Title to property owned by two or more persons may be vested in the following forms.
  1. Community Property is a form of vesting title to property owned by husband and wife during their marriage that they intend to own together. Community property is distinguished from separate property, which is property acquired before marriage, by separate gift or bequest, after legal separation, or which is agreed in writing to be owned by one spouse.

    In California, real property conveyed to a married man or woman is presumed to be community property unless otherwise stated. Since all such property is owned equally, husband and wife must sign all agreements and documents transferring the property or using it as a security for a loan. Under community property, each spouse has the right to dispose of one half of the community property by will.
  2. Community Property with Right of Survivorship shares many of the characteristics of Community Property but adds the benefit of the right of survivorship, similar to title held in joint tenancy. There may be tax benefits for holding title in this manner. Interest must be created on or after July 1, 2001. On the death of a spouse, the decedent's interest ends and the surviving spouse owns the property by survivorship and owns the property in severalty.
  3. Joint Tenancy is a form of vesting when the property is owned by two or more persons, who may or may not be married, in equal interest, subject to the right of survivorship in the surviving joint tenant(s). Title must have been acquired at the same time, by the same conveyance, and the document must expressly declare the intention to create a joint tenancy estate. When a joint tenant dies, title to the property is automatically conveyed by operation of law to the surviving joint tenant(s). Therefore, joint tenancy property is not subject to disposition by will.
  4. Tenancy in Common is a form of vesting title to property owned by any two or more individuals in undivided fractional interests. These fractional interests may be unequal in quantity or duration and may arise at different times. Each tenant- in-common owns a share of the property, is entitled to a comparable portion of the income from the property, and must bear an equivalent share of expenses. Each co-tenant may sell, lease or will to his/her heir that share of the property belonging to him/her.
OTHER WAYS OF VESTING TITLE INCLUDE:
A Corporation
A Partnership
Trustees of a Trust
Limited Liability Companies (L.L.C.)

Remember, the way title is vested has important legal consequences. It is advisable that you consult an attorney to determine the most advantageous form of ownership for your particular situation.

If you have any questions about the above article please contact me at: Francine@FrancineDiPalma.com or 510-982-4421



Francine Di Palma, CRS, SRES, E-Pro
Direct Line: 510-982-4421
Cell: 510-541-2427
Email: Francine@FrancineDiPalma.com


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