One of the most common issues families face after a loved one passes is the discovery that the home or any other real property wasn’t properly titled under their living trust. When this occurs, loved ones of the deceased may be forced to go through probate despite the fact the trust was set up to avoid this very scenario. In addition, if the property isn’t listed as a trust asset, then the probate judge may distribute it based on California law. In that scenario, the deceased’s surviving spouse or children will likely have priority over the property.
Correcting these mistakes can cost your family thousands of dollars in unnecessary attorney’s fees. Your beneficiaries will be forced to file an “Heggstad Petition,” which can be used to prove to probate court the decedent had intended to include a real property or asset into their living trust before passing away. These proceedings can be expensive, time-consuming, and emotionally draining to your loved ones.
Thankfully, you can easily avoid this scenario by signing and notarizing a grant deed. The deed will transfer your real property and retitle it, so the trust is now the “owner” of the property. With a grant deed set up, you can rest assured your real property is protected and distributed according to your wishes when you pass on.
Trust Transfer Grant Deed Attorney, California | Ventura
For most people, the home is their biggest asset. That is why it’s critical you ensure your home or other real property has been properly transferred and retitled under your trust through a grant deed. Get started on one today with guidance from an experienced Ventura estate planning lawyer from Botti & Morison Estate Planning Attorneys, Ltd.. Chris Botti and Paul Morison both are reputable estate planning lawyers with over 90 years of experience and a track record of happy clients to prove it.
Call Botti & Morison Estate Planning Attorneys, Ltd. today to set up your first confidential consultation. Botti & Morison Estate Planning Attorneys, Ltd. has several locations in the state of California including Ventura, Westlake Village, Valencia, San Luis Obispo, Bakersfield, and Santa Barbara, California.
- Grant Deed California
- Does a Grant Deed Need to Be Recorded in California?
- Other Deeds Relevant to Estate Planning
- Additional Resources
Grant Deed California
You may be under the false impression that any real property you own will automatically be listed as a trust asset if you have one established. However, this is not the case. In order to transfer real property such as a house or office to the trust, a grant deed must be prepared that lists the trustee as the new owner. Without it, your real property may have to go through probate court even with a trust established.
The grant deed also guarantees there are no title problems or encumbrances with the real property like a lien while the grantor owned it. In order for the deed to be valid, it requires various information including, but not limited to:
- Current owner’s name
- New owner’s name
- Legal description of the property
Does a Grant Deed Need to Be Recorded in California?
Under the California Government Code, any instrument or judgement affecting the title to or possession of real property may be recorded. The State does not require grant deeds to be recorded, but most estate planning professionals would recommend you do anyways.
Recording the deed essentially protects the grantee (the decedent’s estate) if another document or deed encumbers or affects the title. The deed can be recorded and notarized with your local county recorder or clerk. You will also have to fill out a Preliminary Change of Ownership Report (PCOR) to update tax records. This can be turned in at the Recorder’s Office or local clerk alongside the deed.
Other Deeds Relevant to Estate Planning
- Quitclaim Deed – A quitclaim deed is used when the grantor waives or disclaims ownership rights in favor of another person. The grantor does not promise anything other than they are giving up their own rights to the real property. This type of deed guarantees nothing and is often used to transfer property into a living trust in the context of estate planning.
- Transfer on Death Deed – This type of deed is relatively new to California law. The deed allows the owner of a residential real property to name a beneficiary that will receive the property upon their death. The document allows the grantor to avoid probate and the interest in the real estate only transfers to the beneficiary when the grantor dies. The owner maintains the right to sell or encumber the property and liens on the property will transfer to the beneficiary upon the grantor’s death.
- Interspousal Deed – This type of deed is reserved for spouses or registered domestic partners. The document changes real estate to or from community property. Other types of deeds can be used to do this, but the interspousal deed makes it clear the transaction is intended to affect the couple’s community property rights.
Principal Instruments of Transfer | CA DRE – Visit the official website for the California Department of Real Estate for more information regarding deeds most often used to transfer title to real property. Access the site to learn what makes a deed valid, the various types of deeds listed under California law, the difference between acknowledgement and recordation, what makes a deed void, and other important information.
Transfer of Real Property | California Laws – Visit the official website for California’s Statutes to read up on their laws regarding transfer of real property. Access the site to learn the various modes of transfer available, what must be disclosed upon transfer, and other important information that may be vital to you.
California Trust Lawyers for Grant Deeds | Ventura, CA
If you’re interested in integrating one or several grant deeds in your estate plan, contact the legal team at Botti & Morison Estate Planning Attorneys, Ltd.. We can guide you through every step of the process and ensure nothing is overlooked when filing your grant deed. In addition, our attorneys can also conduct a thorough review of your existing estate plan and determine if there are any important issues you need to address to secure your generational wealth. To learn more, call our offices today.
You can reach Chris Botti and Paul Morison by calling our offices at (877) 585-1885. Our firm accepts clients throughout California including Ventura County, San Luis Obispo County, Santa Barbara County, Kern County, and Los Angeles County.