Estate Planning And Business Law In Napa Valley And Beyond

Q: I have been in a long-term relationship with my partner for 27 years, and we own our home together as joint tenants. If he dies, will my property taxes get reassessed?

A: Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Because you are not legally married, when one of you dies, even though the survivor will own the entire property, the County Assessor will levy a 50% reassessment of your property taxes as a result of the transfer of 50% of the...

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Q: My mom recently passed away with a paid off home (worth $500,000) but owning no cash assets. Unfortunately, she also had $20,000 of credit card debt. Will I be forced to sell her house to pay off the debt?

A: Potentially. The bottom-line is this: creditors have first priority BEFORE any heirs/beneficiaries receive estate assets. Therefore, since your mom’s estate is solvent, the credit card company is entitled to be paid back in full. However, since your mom’s estate...

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Q: My sister and I would like to purchase a California investment property together, but she is able to invest more than I can. Can we own the property together in different percentages?

A: Yes, you can! In California, two individuals can take title to real property as tenants-in-common, and in whichever percentages the owners agree on. For example, your sister could own an 80% interest as a tenant-in-common while you own a 20% interest as a...

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