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Estate Planning Legal Topics Real Property Law Tax Law

Joint Tenancy Transfers in Trust May Avoid Reassessment—But Not For Much Longer

Updated 2/22/17. Another 5 years have passed and the State Board of Equalization (BOE) still has not eliminated the loophole that allows property owners to avoid reassessment on a joint tenancy transfer at death to a person not eligible for exclusion as a spouse, registered domestic partner, cotenant, parent, or child of the transferor. As amended in 2013, the regulations continue to provide that tenants-in-common can transfer property to themselves as joint tenants and become original transferors under Rev & T C §65. This means there will be no change in ownership on the subsequent death of a joint tenant. For example, siblings receiving property as tenants in common on the death of a parent may postpone reassessment until the death of the survivor by retaking title as joint tenants. See 18 Cal Code Regs §462.040(b)(1), Example 4; Letter to Assessors No. 2013/044 (Sept. 2013).