Using Life Estates to Protect Property and Avoid Reassessment

Proposition 13 has allowed many homeowners and other property owners to perpetuate low historical assessments for years or generations using the interspousal exclusion and parent-child (or grandparent-grandchild) exclusion from a change in ownership at death. Rev & T C §§63, 63.1. These property tax opportunities are an important part of California estate planning, and life estates play an important role in making it work. Continue reading

Second Bite at the Apple: How Unregistered Domestic Partners (and Other Cotenants) Can Still Avoid Property Tax Reassessment

tax_123145005Do you own a house with someone and don’t want to register as domestic partners, but you still want an exclusion from a change in ownership for property tax purposes when you die? Now you can. Here’s how it works. Continue reading

The Gift That Keeps on Giving: Property Tax Information on Parent-Child Transfers May Reveal Unreported Gifts

After some hesitation, a federal court has given the IRS the green light to obtain property tax information on real property transfers between nonspouse related parties. So, all those who skipped the required gift tax return when they transferred property to a child or grandchild may want to rethink that decision. Continue reading