How do I add my spouse's name to the deed? 3 Answers as of February 20, 2012

What document do I need to file to have my spouse's name added to our house Deed? We own the property & no longer have a mortgage. Will changing/adding the name cause the property to be reassessed for tax purposes? I live in California.

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Law Office of Walter Johnson
Law Office of Walter Johnson | Walter Johnson
You need to file an updated Grant Deed with the County Recorder. This could be either a Grant Deed or an Interspousal Transfer Deed. One benefit is if you list the property as "John Doe and Jane Doe, Husband and Wife, as Community Property" on the title, then for income tax purposes you will get the full step-up in basis and thereby avoid capital gains tax if the property is sold after the death of the first spouse to die. There is no Proposition 13 reassessment for a transfer between spouses.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/20/2012
The Schreiber Law Firm
The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
You need a Quit Claim Deed. There are different ways to hold title, so you need to make sure that you make the transfer using the correct language as to how title is held between the husband and the wife. Addition of a spouse to the deed does not cause a reassessment in California and is a listed reason on the transfer form for an exemption that can be checked on the form.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/20/2012
Attorney at Law | Dorinda Ohnstad
You simply need a Quit Claim Deed transferring interest from yourself to both of you. It will not affect the taxes on the house.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/20/2012
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