How to List the Title to Real Estate
in a California Living Trust?
Can I put my house in a trust?
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How To Put Your Home in a Living Trust
How to List the Title to Real Estate in a California Living Trust?
A living trust is a legal document whereby the creator of the trust, or the grantor, can transfer ownership of certain assets into the trust and then onto beneficiaries without going through Probate. Accordingly, Probate, the formal process during which a judge distributes a decedent’s estate, can take several years and be quite expensive. Consequently, as awareness of the drawbacks of the probate process increases, more Californians choose living trusts as their means to pass assets to their beneficiaries.
Notwithstanding, Only Two Simple forms are required in California to place your home in a trust.
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1. Obtain a California grant deed from a local office supply store or your county recorder’s office.
2. Complete the top line of the deed. Accordingly. as the house’s current owner, list yourself and any other co-owners as the grantors. Include your full legal name and address.
3. Indicate the grantee on the second line. The grantee is the legal name of the trust.
4. Enter the trustees’ names and addresses. Conversely, you can name yourself the trustee if you wish to maintain control of the house. Write the names within the brackets on the deed. For example, “[name of the trustee(s)], Trustee(s) of the [name of the trust] dated [date of the trust].”
5. Write the legal description of the property. In the middle section of the deed, you are asked to include a paragraph describing the property. Copy the inscription found on your current deed.
6. Sign the deed. Moreover, you and other current owners must sign the deed before a notary public.
7. Prepare a “Preliminary Change of Ownership Report” found on the county tax assessor’s website. The report is submitted to the county record along with your new deed. Nevertheless, a copy of the report is sent to the tax assessor to determine if a property tax reassessment is necessary.
8. Check with your title insurance company. If you transfer the property, your company may terminate the policy because your trustee may not be considered a successor in interest. Consequently, If the policy is canceled, the trustee must purchase a new policy or go without it.
9. File the deed at your county recorder’s office. Filing fees to record deeds vary among counties. You will receive the deed you recorded in the mail within a few weeks.
Funding a Living Trust
Accordingly, to create a living trust, the grantor must fund it, transferring its assets into the trust itself. The grantor names a trustee to manage and distribute property held in trust according to the trust’s terms. The trust becomes the owner of any assets transferred into it. If the grantor wishes to convey real estate to their beneficiaries, they must move the title into the trust.
How to Transfer Real Estate into a Living Trust
In California, to transfer real property into a living trust, the grantor must fill out a grant deed, the vehicle for transferring title ownership from the grantor to the trust itself.
Before you begin filling out a grant deed, you will need some information from your current deed. This original document transferred ownership from someone else to you. The way your name appears as the grantee on the old deed must exactly match the way you enter it as the grantor of the grant deed. Then the legal standing of the living trust must appear under the grantee section of the new grant deed. It is imperative to execute this step correctly.
In addition, the assessor’s parcel number (APN) and legal description from the old deed must appear on the new grant deed.
Reassessment of Property Value in California
Under California law, if the owner of real property transfers that property into a living trust, a county tax assessor may reassess the value of that property upon change of ownership. This could lead to increased property taxes. However, the law exempts property transfer into one’s living trust from the definition of change of ownership. Thus, as long as the owner/grantor informs the assessor’s office that the exemption applies, there will not be a reassessment of Property value.
Executing the Grant Deed
The last step of transferring real estate into a living trust in California is to sign the grant deed in front of a notary. The signature must be the same as it is on the current deed. Although not required, it is highly advised that you officially record the deed with the county recorder’s office in the property’s county.
Creating a valid and effective living trust is a precise process that requires all of the steps to be completed correctly for it to achieve its intended purpose. This is why most people utilize the services of an experienced Trust Attorney specializing in creating trusts without error. The difference a Professional Trust Attorney can make in creating a trust can make the difference in the validity and effectiveness of the trust, which is why most people will not leave this process up to chance by doing it themselves. If you are interested in obtaining legal assistance with creating your trust by an experienced entity that has successfully completed this process in the past, feel free to reach out to our legal representatives for a free consultation.