We prepare and record interspousal quit claim deeds to change real property ownership in California between a husband and wife due to divorce, judgment, court order, or marital agreement.
Surviving Spouse Post Death Transfers
We prepare real property transfer deeds and court orders to change ownership between a husband and wife due to the death of one spouse. Below are the most common forms of ownership. In each of these situations we can help. Each link provides more information.
We also prepare deeds to add a spouse or partner as an owner in joint tenancy.
California’s Recording System California maintains ownership records by county. Each County in California is responsible for knowing who owns each and every real estate property within the boundaries of that County. The interspousal grant deed is filed with the County Recorder’s office.
Intersposual deeds in California are exempt from transfer tax and property tax base increase. The grant deed needs on its face a reference to the California tax law that exempts the deed from a transfer tax. The Preliminary Change of Title Report provides information to establish why the transfer is exempt from an increase in the property tax base. Deed and Record provides the transfer tax exemption law reference and the Preliminary Change of Title Report.
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Service for California Real Property Owners in Marriage, Divorce and Death by Deed and Record
Deed and Record prepares deeds and affidavits for California real property and real estate ownership transfers between spouses due to marriage, divorce or the death of one spouse.
Deed and Record prepares deeds, affidavits, trusts, court motions and probate petitions for California real property and real estate due to marriage, divorce or the death of one spouse.
One spouse comes into a marriage owning real property in California. The cheapest and easiest way to avoid probate is to add the other spouse on title as owner by deed. But California is a community property state.
In the event of divorce both spouses will have equal ownership of the real property. Deed and record continues to prepare deeds to add a spouse as owner but now prepares separate property, living trusts. The trust is backed up by a transmutation agreement affirming and acknowledging the separate property interest.
Separate real property is transferred into the trust. On the death of the owning spouse the real property is transferred to the surviving spouse. In the event of divorce the real property maintains in separate property advantage and belongs to spouse who bought the real property.
By court order or stipulated agreement real property in a divorce is awarded to one spouse. But transfer of ownership is not complete. The non-owning spouse must also be taken off title with the County Recorder.
Deed and Record provides documents and service to bridge the ownership transfer from the Superior Court to the County Recorder. A spouse is taken off title with the County Recorder either voluntarily or by motion filed with the court.
A cooperating spouse signs a deed granting all of his or her one-half interest in the real property to the other spouse. The deed, also known as an inter-spousal deed, is filed with the County Recorder. Deed and Record continues to prepare and record inter-spousal deeds.
Deed and Record has expanded it service for those spouses who refuse to sign the deed. The non-cooperating spouse is removed by a motion filed with the Family Court. The motion requests an order for the Clerk of the Court to sign the deed on behalf of stubborn ex-spouse. The deed is then filed with the County Recorder.
Regardless of the method, the non-owning spouse is not removed as a borrower and remains liable for the debt. To end responsibility for the debt, the loan must be either refinanced or paid off.
Death of First Spouse
Deed and Record provides non-probate transfers of real property by affidavit of death. Couples who own real property in California as joint tenants, community property with right of survivorship or in trust will avoid probate on the death of the first spouse. These forms of title allow for surviving spouse ownership by filing an affidavit of death with the county recorder.
The problem remains of probate on the death of the second spouse. To avoid probate on the death of the second spouse a trust is needed. Deed and Record has expanded service from just preparing deeds for existing trusts to creating the trust.
Affidavit of death will not work for California real property owned solely by one spouse. Transfers to the surviving spouse are done by small estate administration, spousal petition or by formal probate administration.
Small estate administration is for a deceased spouse who had less than $150,000 in assets. The real property’s market value on date of death must be less than $150,000. Deed and Record offers this service of expedited filings with the Superior Court for real property less than $150,000. Service has now been expanded to spousal petitions and formal probate petitions in Superior Court.