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Title to real property in California may be held by individuals, either in Sole Ownership or in Co-ownership. Co-ownership of real property occurs when title is held by two or more persons. There are several variations as to how title may be held in each type of ownership. The following brief summaries reference eight of the more common examples of Sole Ownership and Co-ownership.
A single man or woman
Example: John Doe, a single man
A man or woman, having been legally divorced
Example: Jane, and unmarried woman
- A Married Man/Woman, as His/Her Sole & Separate Property
When a married man or woman wishes to acquire title as their sole and
separate property, the spouse must consent and relinquish all right, title
and interest in the property by deed or other written agreement.
Example: John, a married man, as his sole and separate property
Property acquired by a married couple, or either spouse during marriage, other than by gift, bequest, devise, descent or as the separate property of either, is presumed community property
Example: John and Mary, husband and wife, as community property
Example: Jane, a married woman
Under tenancy in common, the co-owners own undivided interests, but unlike joint tenancy, there is no right of survivorship; each tenant owns an interest which on his or her death vests in his or her heris or devisee
Example: John, a single man as to an undivied 1/4th interest as tenants in common.
- Community Property with Right of Survivorship
Community property acquired by a married couple when expressly declared in the transfer document to be "community property with right of survivorship," shall pass to the surviving spouse without having to first pass through the administration of the estate
Joint and equal interest in land owned by tow or more individuals created under a single instrument with right of survivorship
Example: John and Mary, husband and wife, as joint tenants
Title to real property in California may e held by a trustee in trust; the trustee of the trust holds title pursuant to the terms of the trust for the benefit of the trustor/beneficiary