There are different types of real property ownership in
California mainly divided into sole ownership and coownership.
There are several variations as to how title is held
in each type of ownership. The following are the seven most
common examples of sole and co-ownerships:
1. A Single Man/Woman: A man or woman who are not
2. An Unmarried Man/Woman: A man or woman that have
been married and is legally divorced.
3. A Married Man/Woman as her or his sole and separate
When a married man or woman who wishes to acquire
title in his or her name alone, they must receive their
spouse’s consent by Quit Claim Deed or otherwise, to
transfer thereby relinquishing all rights, title and interest
in the property.
4. Joint Tenancy: Is one owned by two or more persons in
equal shares, by a title created by a single will or transfer,
when expressly declared in the will or transfer to be a joint
tenancy. A chief characteristic of joint tenancy property is
the right of survivorship. When a joint tenant passes away,
title to the property immediately vests in the survivor or
surviving joint tenants. As a consequence, joint tenancy
property isn’t subject to disposition by will.
5. Tenancy in Common: Under tenancy in common, the coowners
own undivided interests. Unlike joint tenancy in
this type of co-ownership the interests need not be equal in quantity
or duration. There is no right of survivorship; each tenant
owns an interest that upon his or her death is vested to the
legal heirs or devisees.
6. Community Property: is one acquired by husband and
wife or either during marriage. 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. If a spouse
does not exercise his/her right to dispose of one-half to
someone other than his/her spouse, then the one-half
will go to the surviving spouse without administration.
If a spouse exercises his/her right to dispose of one-half,
that half is subject to administration in the estate.
7. Community Property with Right of Survivorship:
(Effective July 1st, 2001). Community property acquired
by husband and wife, when expressly declared in the
transfer document to be “community property with
right of survivorship,” shall pass to the surviving spouse
without having to first pass through the administration
of the estate.
8. Trust: Title to real property in California may be held in
a title holding trust. The trust holds legal and equitable
title to the real estate. The trustee holds title for the
trustor/beneficiary who retains all of the management
rights and responsibilities.
How to hold title is not always a simple decision and your
decision on how to hold title can have significant tax and
legal ramifications down the road if you make the wrong
choice. We recommend that you speak with your tax
professional and/or estate planner prior to deciding how to
take title to any real estate.
24010 Lyons Avenue,
Newhall, CA 91321