Laws, Regulations & Annotations
Property Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2014
Property Tax Annotations
220.0000 CHANGE IN OWNERSHIP
220.0298 Joint Tenancy. A mother's transfer of property to herself and to her son as joint tenants does not constitute a change in ownership because the transferor creates a joint tenancy in which she is one of the joint tenants (Revenue and Taxation Code section 65(b)). If the joint tenants later take title to the property as tenants in common, there is a change in ownership of the 50 percent undivided interest in the property acquired by the son. Although Property Tax rule 462(c)(2)(D) provides an exclusion to the basic principle that the transfer of a joint tenancy interest is a change in ownership of the interest transferred, the exclusion applies only to joint tenancies other than those described in rule 462(c)(2)(A), and the mother's transfer of the property to herself and to her son was a transfer to a joint tenancy of the kind described in rule 462(c)(2)(A).
If instead the mother as joint tenant later creates a tenancy in common by revocable deed, to become effective upon her death, she will apparently create the equivalent of a life estate in joint tenancy with a vested future interest as a tenant in common. Since Revenue and Taxation Code section 60 requires the transfer of a present interest in real property for a change in ownership to occur, there would be no change in ownership at that time. Upon the transferor's death, however, the future interest would become a present interest and effectively terminate the joint tenancy; the transferor's estate or heirs and the son would own the property as tenants in common (Riddle v. Harmon), 102. Cal.App.3d 524); and there would be a change in ownership of both the transferor's 50 percent undivided interest in the property as the result of her death and of the son's 50 percent undivided interest therein as the result of his taking title to the property as a tenant in common. C 9/11/1985.