Say ‘I Do’ to Easy Property Transfers: A Guide to Interspousal Transfer Deeds in California

Say ‘I Do’ to Easy Property Transfers: A Guide to Interspousal Transfer Deeds in California

Say ‘I Do’ to Easy Property Transfers: A Guide to Interspousal Transfer Deeds in California

Buying or selling a home can be a complicated process, and if you’re married, you may have to consider an Interspousal Transfer Deed. This legal document allows spouses to transfer property ownership between themselves, either as a gift or in exchange for consideration, without triggering property tax reassessment. In this article, we’ll explore what an Interspousal Transfer Deed is, when it’s used, and how to complete it in California.

What is an Interspousal Transfer Deed?

An Interspousal Transfer Deed is a legal document that transfers real estate property ownership from one spouse to another. The transfer can be a gift or for consideration (e.g., cash, other property, or the assumption of debt), and it’s typically used to change the property ownership status between spouses. For example, if one spouse purchased a property before marriage and wants to add the other spouse to the title, they could use an Interspousal Transfer Deed.

One of the most significant benefits of using an Interspousal Transfer Deed is that it allows spouses to transfer property without triggering a property tax reassessment. In California, for example, property taxes are based on the property’s assessed value, typically determined when the property is sold or changes ownership. Using an Interspousal Transfer Deed allows spouses to avoid reassessment, resulting in lower property taxes.

When is an Interspousal Transfer Deed Used?

Interspousal Transfer Deeds are commonly used in California in a variety of situations, including:

  1. Adding a spouse to the title of a property
  2. Removing a spouse from the title of a property
  3. Transferring property between spouses in the event of divorce
  4. Transferring property as a gift between spouses
  5. Changing the way property is held between spouses (e.g., from joint tenancy to community property)

It’s important to note that an Interspousal Transfer Deed is not required in all situations and may not be the best option for every circumstance. If you’re considering transferring property between spouses in California, consult a qualified real estate professional or legal document preparer to determine the best action.

How to Complete an Interspousal Transfer Deed in California?

Completing an Interspousal Transfer Deed in California can be relatively straightforward, but following the proper legal procedures to ensure the transfer is valid is essential. Here are the steps you should take:

  1. Obtain a blank Interspousal Transfer Deed form: You can typically obtain a blank form from a title company, real estate attorney, or a legal document service.
  2. Complete the form: The form will typically ask for information about the property being transferred, the spouses involved, and the type of transfer (gift or consideration). You’ll need to provide accurate information and sign the form in the presence of a notary public.
  3. File the form: Once completed and signed, it should be recorded with the county recorder’s office where the property is located. A Preliminary Change of Ownership Report (PCOR) in California should also be filed with the county assessor’s office within 45 days of the transfer.
  4. Notify the mortgage lender: If there is a mortgage on the property, you’ll need to notify the lender of the transfer and ensure that both spouses are listed on the loan.

In some cases, additional legal documents or steps may be required to complete the transfer, particularly if the property is subject to a homeowners’ association or other legal restrictions.

The Bottom Line

If you’re considering using an Interspousal Transfer Deed in California, seeking professional guidance is vital to ensure the transfer is legally valid and in your best interest. Guideway Legal has a team of experienced legal document preparers who can help guide you through the process and ensure your transfer is completed successfully. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.