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Can a real property be transferred into a trust if owned 50% by the Trustees & Settlors and 50% by their mom as Tenants in comm?

Long Beach, CA |

The title is held: Mr. and Mrs., husband and wife as to an undivided 50% interest and Mom as to an undivided 50% interest, all as Tenants in common.

Now, Mr. and Mrs. want to transfer that property into their Living Trust. Does Mom have to sign a Quit Claim Deed or some other document in order for Mr. and Mrs. to be able to transfer the entire property and not just 50% of it into their trust?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. You need the advice of a good estate planning attorney to do this properly. There are often unintended consequences in these situations. The first one I can think of is if the trust owns 50% and something happens to the grantor's and the successor trustee doesn't want to do what "Mom" wants.

    Generally speaking if something is owned as tenants-in-common that means the owner has an an undivided one half interest and they can sell/convey that property as they wish without regard or permission to other owners.

    This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship.


  2. The answer to your question depends upon information you have not provided. Mr. Zelinger is correct that, as joint tenants, you can transfer your interest in the property into your revocable trust. However, when the last of Mr. and Mrs. die, control of the interest could pass to someone that does not have Mom's best interest at heart.
    Therefore, an attorney would want to know if Mom lives in the property or it is an investment or Mom's fifty percent is collateral for a loan to purchase the property. The circumstances would govern the advice any competent attorney would provide to you.
    The simple answer to your specific question is, yes, you can transfer your fifty-percent tenants in common interest into your trust.

    Nothing contained in the information on this web site is to be considered as the rendering of legal advice for specific cases and readers are responsible for obtaining such advice from their own legal counsel. This web site is intended for educational purposes only. Michael R. Weinstein, is licensed to practice only before the courts of the State of California, and is admitted to practice before the United States District Court for the Central District and the United States Cou rt of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit. No information contained herein is to be considered applicable to legal matters in domestic or foreign jurisdictions outside of the State of California.


  3. Mr. and Mrs., husband and wife can transfer only their 50% interest into their trust without Mom having to sign any documents or consent. If Mr. and/or Mrs. husband and wife pass away, that 50% interest will be subject to the instructions left in the trust. If Mom passes away, her 50% interest will be subject to the instructions in her Will if she has one or if she doesn't then it will follow the intestate succession statute. Either Mr. and Mrs., husband and wife OR Mom can do anything they want with their 50% interest without the signature or consent of the other tenant in common. However, in order to transfer the entire property, it would require the signatures of all tenants in common.

    This does not constitute legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.

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