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What's the difference between holding property in California as Joint Tenants vs Community Property WROS?

San Francisco, CA |

It appears that Community Property WROS has better tax advantages, so I wonder why people still use Joint Tenant. Everyone I know use Joint Tenants when buying or refinancing their homes.

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Attorney answers 1


Generally, a married couple should hold property as community property with right of survivorship. As you have stated, there is a tremendous tax advantage in holding title in this manner and, like joint tenancy, the property passes by operation of law upon the first spouse's death. In my experience, people still continue to use joint tenancy for two main reasons: 1-Realtors/Escrow Agents usually suggest this and 2-Lack of knowledge that there is something out there that can pass the title without probate and provide a step up in basis.