Bakersfield, CA asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for California

Q: Transferring a home from an elder parent to an adult child

My 80+ year old parents own 2 homes. They live in one of the homes, I live in their second home, and have lived here for 28 years. I have always paid them "rent." The home I live in is paid off. My parents' will states that all of their assets are to be split between my sister and I (their only children) upon their death. My father would now like to get this home that I currently live in, out of his name, before death, so it is no longer considered an asset. He wants me to have the home since I've been in it for 28 years. He would like to put it in my name now. The home is currently in a trust, both he and my mother are listed on. Is there a preferable way to transfer the home to me now? Quitclaim? Gift? Sell for less than market value? Thank you. We are in California.

1 Lawyer Answer
Julie King
Julie King
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Monterey, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Your parents need to work with their estate planning attorney. Giving you the home now, while they are alive, is not the best way to go from a tax perspective. If you wait to get the home after your parents pass away, your parents will save a lot of money in taxes -- that is, unless the law changes at some point in the future. As the law stands today, it is almost always better to give property to children through a trust or will (at death) than to give it away while the parents are living. If your parents give you the home now, they will be required to file a Gift Tax Return and likely have to pay capital gains taxes, since they've owned the home close to 30 years. Tell your parents to speak with their estate planning attorney and CPA to learn the tax implications of giving you the property now and, if they still want to move forward, they can use a grant deed or quitclaim deed. Best wishes.

Sally Bergman agrees with this answer

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