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Methods of Holding Title

In the state of California title to real property can be held by two methods such as individuals, with either ownership or co-ownership. Co-ownership is title held by more than two people. There are several variations of how title can be held within the two ways. The following will explain a few ways that title is held by both individuals and co-ownerships.

An individual would hold title as a sole ownership which would be considered , a single man or woman who is not legally married.deed_XS

Example: Jane Doe, a single female

An individual would hold title as sole ownership if a man or woman was married and now is legally divorced.

Example: Jane Doe, an unmarried female

An individual would hold title as sole ownership if a man or woman wishes to hold title alone to a property as his/her separate property. But this would require that the other spouse give consent by signing a quit claim deed in order to transfer title and relinquish all rights, title, and interest in the property.

Example: Jane Doe, a married female, as her sole and separate property

The other form of holding title is under a Co-Ownership.

Community Property would be considered co-ownership. The California Civil Code defines community property as property acquired by a husband, wife, and or by either. Real property conveyed to a married individual is presumed to be community property unless stated otherwise.

Example: Jane Doe, a married female

Joint Tenancy is another form of holding title in a co-ownership, and it is defined by the Civil Code as: ” A joint interest is when interest is owned by two or more persons in equal shares, by a title created by a single will or transfer, when expressly declared in the will or transfer, to be a joint tenancy”, and in a joint tenancy the property has a right of survivorship.

Example, John Doe and Jane Doe, husband and wife, as joint tenants.

Tenancy In Common is one where the co-owners own undivided interest, but these interests need not be equal in quantity or duration, and may arise at different times. And in tenancy in common there is no right of survivorship.

Example, Jane Doe, a single female, as to an undivided 1/3 the interest, Peter Doe, a single man, as to an undivided 1/3 the interest, and Jack Doe, a single man, as to an undivided 1/3 the interest; as tenants in common.

Title to real property in California may also be held in a title holding trust. The trust holds legal and equitable title to the real estate. The trustee holds title for the trustor/beneficiary who retains all of the management rights and responsibilities.

And, there is also community property with right of survivorship. Community property of a husband and wife, when expressly declared in the transfer document to be community property with the right of survivorship, and which may be accepted in writing on the face of the document by a statement signed or initialed by the grantees, shall, upon the death of one of the spouses, pass to the survivor, without administration.

Although, you may have a good understanding of the many ways title can be held but it is best to check with an attorney or CPA to determine which method is right for you.