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How to Hold Title

A Single Man/Woman:   A man or woman who is not legally married.

An Unmarried Man/Woman:  A man or woman whom, having been married, is legally divorced.

A Married Man/Woman, as His/Her sold and Separate Property:  When a married man or woman wishes to acquire title in his or her name alone, the spouse must consent, by quitclaim deed or otherwise, to transfer, thereby relinquishing all rights, title and interest in the property.

Community Property:  The California Civil Code defines community property acquired by husband and wife (or either) during marriage, when not acquired as the separate property of either. Real property conveyed to a married man or woman is presumed to be community property unless otherwise stated.

Under community property, both spouses have the right, by will, to dispose of one-half of the community property. But all of it will go the surviving spouse without administration if the other spouse dies without a will. If a spouse exercises his or her right to dispose of one-half, that half is subject to administration in the estate.

Joint Tenancy:  A joint tenancy estate is defined in the California Civil Code as follows: “A joint interest is one owned by two or more persons in equal shares, by title created by single will or transfer, when expressly declared in the will or transfer to be joint tenancy.” A chief characteristic of joint tenancy property is the right of survivorship. When a joint tenant dies, title to the property immediately vests in the survivor or surviving joint tenants. As a consequence, joint tenancy property is not subject to disposition of will.

Tenancy in Common:  Under tenancy in common, the co-owners own undivided interest, but unlike joint tenancy, there interests need not be equal in quantity or duration and may arise in different times. There is no right of survivorship; each tenant owns an interest which, on his or her death, vests in his or her heirs or devisees.

Living Trust:  Contact an attorney of law for more info.

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