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Real Estate

Diablo Document Preparation offers document preparation for real estate deeds and other documents that may be required to manage your most important assets. 

We also prepare a Preliminary Change of Ownership Report if required by the County for every deed, and notary service is included in our flat fee.

It's best to understand the differences between the types of deeds you can have prepared and what their function is. It is also wise to consult with a tax attorney to confirm there will be no tax consequences or property tax issues. There are certain exclusions you can make depending on the type of transfer that will avoid reassessment of property taxes, see below for more information on this.

Grant Deed/Quitclaim Deed

A grant deed is used to transfer ownership or to add a name to real property. The current owner(s) must sign in the presence of a notary. 

A quitclaim deed is used when someone wants to give up their rights to real property. It basically waives their right to the property, however, it does not make any other guarantees. 

Interspousal Grant Deed

Interspousal Grant Deeds may be used to add or remove a spouse from title. It may change community property into separate property or separate property  into community property. 

Trust Transfer Deed

When you create a Revocable Living Trust it's important to transfer your assets into your newly formed trust, or if you have an existing trust and purchase new real property to get that property into your trust as soon as possible. A trust transfer deed does just that, it transfers the property from the current owners into the trust. 


Affidavit of Death


An affidavit of death must be prepared when someone passes away and you need to change title on the real property. This gets recorded with the County recorder along with the Death Certificate and a Preliminary Change of Ownership Report to transfer to property from the deceased person. 


Transfer on Death Deed

In January of 2016 California joined several other states in allowing a Transfer of Death Deed to be  prepared on real property. Transfer on death deeds are an excellent tool to transfer your property to a loved one without the need for probate. Transfer on death deeds are revocable at any time and are recorded against your property. They name a beneficiary or multiple beneficiaries who will inherit your property upon your passing. 

Transfer on death deeds can be recorded for a single family residence or condominium, a single family residence with up to 40 acres of agricultural land, or a residential property with no more than 4 units. 


Preliminary Change of Ownership Report

A Preliminary Change of Ownership Report is prepared when recording a deed for real property. This document lets the County know whether or not to reassess the property for property tax purposes. There are several instances where your property will not be assessed, the most common are as follows: 

  • Transfer between spouses (adding a spouse or removing, death, settlement etc)

  • Transfer between domestic partners registered with the Secretary of State

  • Transfer between parents & children or grandchildren

  • Transfer due to co-tenant's death

  • Correction of Name on Deed

  • Transfer to or from Revocable Trust / Irrevocable Trust

Common Ways to Hold Title to Real Property

Joint Tenants: Right of survivorship is automatic. Equal shares for each owner, owner may sell, give or mortgage their portion without the consent of the other owner, however, the new owner will be a tenant in common. If a joint tenant passes away their share automatically passes to other owner, a good option to avoid probate.

Tenant in Common: Shares can be unequal, owner may sell, give or mortgage their portion without the consent of the other owner. You can leave your share to someone else, may have to go through probate. 

Community Property: Both spouses must sign off on gift, sale or refinance. You can choose to pass your portion to heirs, may have to pass through probate.

Community Property with Right of Survivorship: Both spouses must sign off on gift, sale or refinance. Your share will automatically pass to surviving spouse. 

grant deed
interspousal grant deed
trust transfer
aff of death
how to hold prop
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