Certain legal terms cause people to clutch their wallets in fear. With regard to income taxes, people fear the word “audit". In family law, they fear the word “alimony”. The scariest word in estate planning is “probate,” which refers to the process by which the court effectively dictates what happens to a deceased person’s property. Knowing the term "transfer on death deed" can make probate far less scary. Unfortunately, since the implementation of this new estate planning tool, people are discovering title insurance problems with transfer on death deeds.
Owning property together is just one of the ties that can connect family members. Often through inheritance family members suddenly have to deal with the unexpected consequences of jointly owned property. It is important to understand how real property title can affect who receives the property when an owner dies.
If you wish to avoid estate planning, advisers may recommend California's Transfer on Death Deed. Once you file this deed with the county, theoretically your properties will automatically transfer to named beneficiaries without probate. Since the forms associated with this transfer are inexpensive to record and fully revocable, the concept often feels like the answer to a prayer. Unfortunately, these transfers have many drawbacks.
If you need to change the title on a house, be confident you have handled all steps in the process correctly. It's always best to hire a professional to prepare a deed or other title transfer. Otherwise, with an improper deed, you might not have the ownership rights you believe you have. Worst yet, you might retain ownership responsibilities you think you no longer should have.
Did the County Assessor reassess your real property due to a title change? The consequences of title changes and reassessment of real property are often overlooked and greatly misunderstood. Title changes of real property often occur when there is a sale or purchase, or by gift or inheritance. The transfer may be voluntary, involuntary, contract of sale, or the addition or removal of an owner. Keep in mind, payment for the title change is not required though the reassessment of real property may still occur.
In order to complete a transfer of real property, you must sign over ownership and legally transfer the property using some type of transfer deed. Once the deed is recorded in the proper county, you are essentially done. However, the process can be more complicated, especially if you fail to properly prepare the deed or include an incomplete legal description. In addition, it is possible to record an incorrect deed that fails to properly real property, and not be aware of the problem until it is too late.
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The steps for filing probate in California can be overwhelming. For example, the process can take 8-10 months. One of the steps for filing probate in California includes identifying and valuing all assets. For low-cost, non-attorney help with the steps to file probate in California, contact A People’s Choice today.
Use California simplified probate procedures to transfer real property valued under $150,000, and bypass expensive probate. California simplified probate procedures can be used to transfer personal property as well as real property and can be completed within 1-2 months. Make sure you know your probate options!