Transfer Real Property Title by Deed
A property deed is the legal document required to transfer real property title and ownership of real estate. The deed must contain the legal description of the property, the name of the existing and new owner, the signature of the party transferring the real estate and other important details about the property. There are several different types of property deeds:
- Grant Deed: A grant deed transfers ownership and promises that the property has not already been transferred to another party.
- Quitclaim Deed: A quitclaim deed transfers whatever property rights the current owner holds to the property.
- Warranty Deed: A warranty deed transfers ownership of property and provides additional promises such as the transferring party having good title to the property. If the transferring party falsifies any claims, the party will be held liable. Warranty deeds are typically used in other states, but not in California.
- Interspousal Transfer Deed: An interspousal transfer deed is a special deed between two spouses. This type of deed is often used to transfer property from one spouse to another based upon a divorce judgment or to add a new spouse to the title of real estate.
- Trust Transfer Deed: This is another special deed that specifically transfers title to real estate either into a living trust or out of a living trust.
- Transfer on Death Deed: A transfer on death deed allows a property owner to choose specific beneficiaries to receive property when the owner dies.
When someone transfers real property title, the new owners of the real property must decide how title will be held. Three of the most common ways deeds are held between shared property owners include tenants-in-common, joint tenants, and tenants by the entirety. It is important to fully understand the legal effect of these different forms of title. The type of deed transfer you seek will depend on the property rights the new buyers desire. When a seller transfers real property title, their signature must be notarized. The buyers do not need to sign the document. Once properly executed, the deed is recorded with the county. Contact us to find out more information about creating any of the above-referenced deeds.
For estate planning purposes, you may want to transfer real property into a revocable living trust or a Limited Liability Company (LLC). A Trust Transfer Deed is typically used to transfer real property title into a living trust. This is part of the process known as “funding” the trust. Most deeds need a Preliminary Change of Ownership Report to be submitted with the deed at time of recording. As with any title changes to real property, you should also notify your mortgage and insurance companies about the transfer.
The Assessor’s office is typically notified when you transfer real property title. Some transfers will trigger a reassessment of the property. In other situations, the reassessment can be avoided by filing the proper Claim of Exclusion for Reassessment form with the Tax Assessor’s office.
Transferring real property title into a LLC or corporation may limit liability of a property owner in the event a person is injured on the premises. People who own multiple properties often form LLCs or corporations to insulate themselves from liability claims. Keep in mind, you must form the business entity before transferring real property title to the LLC or corporation.
Why Hire a Professional to Transfer Real Property Title?
I cannot tell you how many times we see people faced with unnecessary legal issues because of a previously recorded, faulty deed. Sometimes people create the document themselves without professional help, get their signature notarized and recorded the document. It is a misconception that if the Recorder’s Office accepted it, “it must be right.” The job of the Recorder’s Office is to record documents they are presented with. It is not their role to determine the legal effect the deed may carry, nor if it is correct. As a result, clients are usually quite surprised to find out years later that there was a problem with a deed they recorded and now they face a legal mess that could have easily been avoided. When transferring title to real property we strongly recommend you hire the services of someone experienced in preparing deeds. This does not mean you need to hire an attorney. An experienced legal document assistant’s office such as A People’s Choice, can easily prepare and assist with the recording of these types of documents. The cost is low compared to the problems that you may incur down the road when a deed has not been prepared correctly.
Contact A People’s Choice for more information about how to transfer real property in California. We can help you draft and record all the documents you need to finalize your real property title transfer. Call us today at 800-747-2780 for immediate help. We have experienced staff standing by 7 days a week.