How To Hold Title

When buying a property, you will need to decide how you want to acquire title.  How you take title may have significant legal and tax planning consequences. If you have questions, you should contact your attorney and/or tax consultant on which manner best suits your needs.

The material provided below is for your information only. It is not our intention to provide legal or tax advice to you on how to take title.

You can take title as Single, Unmarried, Community Property, Community Property with Right of Survivorship, Joint Tenants with Right of Survivorship, Tenants in Common, Sole and Separate, Trust, and Corporations / Partnerships / Limited Liability Company. Below are brief explanations of those.

SINGLE: Refers to an individual who has never been married.

UNMARRIED: Refers to an individual who has been, but is not currently married.

COMMUNITY PROPERTY (married couples only): This means that, by statute, all property acquired during a marriage is presumed to be community property, except that acquired by gift, descent, or devise, or unless another form of ownership is expressly stated. The interest of a deceased spouse passes by will or intestate succession, generally through probate proceedings. 

COMMUNITY PROPERTY WITH RIGHT OF SURVIVORSHIP (married couples only): Co-ownership by a married couple when expressly stated in the vesting document. Upon the death of one spouse, title vests in the surviving spouse without the need for probate proceedings. This manner of holding title may have tax advantages that are not available with other forms of ownership.

JOINT TENANTS WITH RIGHT OF SURVIVORSHIP: Co-ownership between individuals in which title to a decedent’s interest passes to the surviving joint tenants without the need for probate proceedings. The last surviving joint tenant acquires full title to the property.

TENANTS IN COMMON: Co-ownership between individuals and/or entities who do not have survivorship rights. Each party owns a specific, undivided interest in the property. If fractional interests are stated, they must total 100%. If interests are not stated, equal shares are presumed.

SOLE AND SEPARATE (married individual only): Refers to real property acquired by a spouse prior to marriage or acquired after marriage by gift, descent or devise, or by expressly stated intent. When a married person acquires title as sole and separate property, his/her spouse must execute a disclaimer deed.

TRUST: Title can be vested in individuals or entities acting as trustees pursuant to a written trust agreement.

CORPORATIONS / PARTNERSHIPS / LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANIES: Title to real property can also be vested in entities that are duly formed and in good standing. Such entities include corporations, general partnerships, limited partnerships and limited liability companies.