Hayward, CA asked in Divorce, International Law and Real Estate Law for California

Q: What legal procedures would a non-citizen couple with property in California need to follow to transfer ownership?

Both are citizens of Taiwan (neither are US citizens), and are expecting ownership of the property to transfer to only one of the spouses. Which agencies need which documents to make it official?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • International Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: To transfer ownership of a property in California, a non-citizen couple would need to follow certain legal procedures as outlined by California law. Here are the general steps that need to be taken:

Obtain a certified copy of the deed to the property from the county recorder's office.

Prepare a new deed that reflects the desired transfer of ownership. This can be done with the assistance of an attorney or a title company.

Have the new deed signed by both spouses in the presence of a notary public.

Record the new deed with the county recorder's office in the county where the property is located. The recording fee varies by county and should be paid at the time of recording.

Depending on the specific circumstances, the couple may also need to file additional paperwork with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to report the transfer of ownership and any associated tax implications.

It is important to note that the specific requirements for transferring ownership of a property may vary depending on the individual circumstances of the case. Therefore, it is recommended that the non-citizen couple consult with an attorney who specializes in real estate law to ensure that all necessary steps are taken and all legal requirements are met.

In terms of which agencies need which documents to make the transfer official, the county recorder's office is responsible for recording the new deed and making it official. The IRS may also require additional documentation to be filed to report the transfer of ownership and any associated tax implications.

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