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By: Scott Grossman on October 18th, 2016

How Do You Clear Title to California Real Property in Joint Tenancy?

Property deeds are legal documents that grant or assign ownership from the seller to the buyer of real estate. The county courthouse records all property deeds.
Furthermore, records show the current owner and the status of mortgage or other aliens affecting real property. All records are accessible electronically.

Clearing Joint Tenancy Title

Real property is land or property permanently attached to land, and under California probate law, when real property is held in joint tenancy, the share held by the decedent is transferred by right to the surviving tenant. This change of ownership is to clear joint tenancy title to the property. The best way to do this is for the representative to use an Affidavit-Death of Joint Tenant, a sworn written statement.
On this form, the representative:

  • States that the decedent on the death certificate is the same person on the original deed as a joint tenant
  • Refers to the deed and where to find the appropriate record
  • Has the surviving joint tenant sign the Affidavit in the presence of a notary public

Sometimes, when more than two joint tenants had a share in the ownership of real property, the representative of the estate finds out that a predeceased joint tenant did not formally end his interest. Moreover, the representative will remit the Affidavit jointly with a Preliminary Change of Ownership Report, which is a standard form to report the transfer of ownership from the deceased to the new owner.
Finally, talk to San Diego estate planning and probate attorney Scott Grossman about your situation and the questions you have. Call our lawyers at (951) 683-3704 or (888) 443-6590 for your FREE 30-minute telephone consultation. Also, order our FREE book The Insider’s Guide to California Probate and Trust Administration.