How Do I Take Title?
In California, title to real property can be held by an individual or a group of individuals, and in a number of ways. When a Buyer(s) purchase a home, they are asked how they would like to hold title.
There are several options in how title held, but the first factor is whether title will be held by sole ownership or co-ownership.
Sole ownership is defined as an unmarried man or unmarried woman i.e. Mary Smith, a single woman, and is pretty straight forward. Co-ownership, on the other hand, has a few variations within each type of way title can be held.
1) Joint Tenancy: Joint and equal interests in land owned by two or more individuals created under a single instrument with right of survivorship (if one dies, the shares go to the others) i.e. Don & Mary Doughnut, husband and wife as joint tenants.
2) Tenancy in Common: Co-owners own undivided interests; but unlike joint tenancy, these interests need not be equal in quantity and may arise at different times. With tenancy in common there is no right of survivorship; each tenant owns an interest, which on his/ her death vests in his/ her heirs, i.e. June Bug, a single man, as to an undivided ¾ interest, & Mark Dot, a single man as to an undivided 1/4th interest, as tenants in common.
3) Community Property: This is property acquired by husband and wife, or either during marriage other than by gift, bequest, devise, descent, or as separate property either is presumed to be community property, i.e. Mork & Mindy Doe, husband and wife, as community property or Mork Doe, a married man.
Community property can have right of survivorship too i.e. Mork & Mindy Doe, husband and wife as community property with right of survivorship.Title to real property in California may be held in trust. The trustee of the trust holds title pursuant to the terms of the trust for the benefit of the trustor/beneficiary.
4) Trust: The fourth way you can vest is by trust i.e. The Mork & Mindy Family Trust
The above are a few of the more common ways to take title to real property in California and are provided for informational purposes only.