Common Methods of Holding Title in California
The title company insuring title will require the domestic partner of the person acquiring title to specifically disclaim or relinquish his or her right, title and interest
California has recognized same sex marriages and non-marital relationships such as Domestic Partnerships for some time. The California Land Title Association's Summary of the methods of holding title, whether of same sex or not, follows:
Sole ownership may be described as ownership by an individual or other entity capable of acquiring title.
Examples of common vesting cases of sole ownership are:
1. A Single Man or Woman, an Unmarried Man or Woman or a Widow or Widower:
A man or woman who is not legally married or in a domestic partnership.
For example: Bruce Buyer, a single man.
2. A Married Man or Woman as His or Her Sole and Separate Property:
A married man or woman who wishes to acquire title in his or her name alone.
The title company insuring title will require the spouse of the married man or woman acquiring title to specifically disclaim or relinquish his or her right, title and interest to the property. This establishes that both spouses want title to the property to be granted to one spouse as that spouse's sole and separate property. The same rules will apply for same sex married couples.
For example: Bruce Buyer, a married man, as his sale and separate property.
3. Domestic Partner as His or Her Sole and Separate Property:
A domestic partner who wishes to acquire title in his or her name alone to the property. This establishes that both domestic partners want title to the property to be granted to one partner as that person's sole and separate property.
For example: Bruce Buyer, a registered domestic partner, as his sale and separate property.
Title to property owned by two or more persons may be vested in the following forms:
1. Community Property:
A form of vesting title to property owned together by married persons or by domestic partners. Community property is distinguished from separate property, which is property acquired before marriage or before a domestic partnership by separate gift or bequest, after legal separation, or which is agreed in writing to be owned by one spouse or domestic partner.
In California, real property conveyed to a married person, or to a domestic partner is presumed to be community property, unless otherwise stated (i.e. property acquired as separate property by gift, bequest or agreement). Since all such property is owned equally, both parties must sign all agreements and documents transferring the property or using it as security for a loan. Each owner has the right to dispose of his/her one half of the community property by will.
For example: Bruce Buyer and Barbara Buyer, husband and wife, as community property, or Sally Smith and Jane Smith, registered domestic partners as community property.
Another example for same sex couples: Sally Smith and Jane Smith, who are married to each other, as community property.
(Please see part 2 as well).
This material is not intended to be relied upon as a statement of the law, and is not to be construed as legal, tax or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult your legal, tax or investment professional for specific advice. The material is meant for general illustration and/or informational purposes only. Although the information has been gathered from sources believed to be reliable, no representation is made as to its accuracy. Intended for distribution to only one per individual for marketing purposes only on behalf of our company. Not for reproduction.