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Titles

each spouse to devise their 50% interest to another person through a Will or trust. Additionally, if at the death of the survivor, a probate avoidance estate plan was not prepared, then the property will still have to go through Death Probate. As such, Community Property (with Rights of Survivorship) does not avoid both Living Probate and Death Probate.

Living Trust.

This form of real property ownership allows the real property to be managed by a Trustee. The original owner of the real property is usually the first Trustee; however, successor Trustees are named in the event of incapacity and death. At incapacity or death the successor Trustees complete a few forms to assume managerial responsibilities, but they do not have to go to court to get authority to act on the trust’s behalf. The successor Trustees follow the specific instructions and guidelines of the trust document without the need of court interference. Additionally, since the real property will transfer to the beneficiaries after death, for capital gains purposes, there may be a double step up in the cost basis. Titling your real property into the name of a trust avoids both Living Probate and Death Probate.

The California Land Title Association advises those purchasing real property to give careful consideration to the manner in which title will be held. There are benefits and misconceptions to the various ways of holding title to real property. Before making a decision on how to title your real property, you should speak to a tax and/or legal professional. This information is only a guide. Consult with an attorney for legal advice. Theresa Carter Geoffroy www.geoffroylaw.com (916) 572-1998 9401 East Stockton Blvd., Suite 140, Elk Grove, CA. ardentforlife.net   19

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