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How old do you have to be to own property legally?

Cambria, CA |
Filed under: Real estate

In california

Attorney Answers 1

Posted

In California, you need to be 18 years old in order to both own and be able to sell or make contracts relating to real property.

However, under California law, a minor (under the age of 18) may own real property or an interest therein (Estate of Yano (1922) 188 Cal. 645, 649), but a minor may not convey or make contracts relating to real property. (Family Code, § 6701, subd. (b).)

Therefore, a minor cannot sell or purchase property held directly in his or her own name, and, as a practical matter, transactions involving minor’s interests in real property are usually conducted indirectly, through a guardianship or trust.

The California Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (Prob. Code § 3900 et seq.) (CUTMA) provides a statutory mechanism for transferring property to an adult “custodian” for the benefit of a minor.

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