I have always purchased real estate homes and investments in my own name (separately from my husband who has his own) I would love to purchase an

Asked by Marie Harlow, Thu Feb 4, 2010

investment property now - can I proceed the same way?

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David Turtur…, , 95826
Fri Apr 9, 2010
You may. As Sue points out, you will be asked by the title company to bring down your husband to sign a quit claim deed. My family law and estate planning experience tell me this is near meaningless. It may have some meaning in the fact that it creates litigation later (why did he sign it? what was their intent? were disclosures provided?).

The best thing to do, especially since your husband has properties in his own name as well, is to have a written agreement in the form of a living trusts. That's right...living trusts between married couples are "Trust Agreements". They can spell out all the terms regarding your intent, making such terms legally binding during the marriage, upon divorce, or upon death of either or both of you(or any other contingency), and of course will be binding upon the kids, the estate, your beneficiaries, etc.

Also, since you have investments and are considering investment properties, you may need to do some estae tax planning. The living trust will provide the cornerstone for such tax planning, starting with the A/B trust you've probably heard of a thousand times (potentially saves Hundreds of Thousands of dollars in taxes).

-David A. Turturici, Attorney at Law / Broker
Web Reference:  http://visvires.net
2 votes
Sue Archer R…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Wed Feb 17, 2010
The issues to consider are many different ones requiring different resources for the whole answer. California is a community property state but when the escrow company completes the transaction, they can have your husband acknowledge your right to the property solely as your own by signing the quit claim deed. However, there are estate and liability issues that you'd want to address for all of your, and your husbands properties, either owned together or separately. Liability can be protected using an LLC owned by a limited partnership, or an umbrella policy by your insurance carrier. The umbrella policy actually turns out cheaper, but there's factors to be considered as to which is better for YOU. I would speak to my tax accountant and a reputable insurance broker for those answers.

From an estate protection standpoint, putting properties in a trust are helpful rather than be listed under your name as an individual to avoid probate. I would talk to an estate attorney for how best to protect your assets for that issue. I would also discuss rights of survivorship for ownership of the properties and have them explain how properties would convert to the new owner and at what value. Some events get the step up value and save taxes when transferred at time of death so it's important to understand how that all works.

I've owned properties under various types and made my fair of mistakes. No one person seems to have the complete picture so ask lots of questions. Good luck!
Web Reference:  http://www.suearcher.com
1 vote
Jim Walker, Agent, Carmichael, CA
Sat Apr 10, 2010
Great answers from Sue and David. With all the legal and tax implications, it is no longer a simple decision on how to take title.
0 votes
Barbara Van…, , Folsom, CA
Mon Feb 15, 2010
Hi Mariee ~

Your zip code indicates you live in California so if that's where you plan to buy, the initial answer is yes. What has changed is qualifying guidelines for investment property which includes new rules for DTI, equity, asset reserves and more. I would begin your due diligence by talking with a mortgage professional and follow it up with your tax advisor.

All the Best,
0 votes
Hannah Flieg…, Agent, Larkspur, CA
Fri Feb 5, 2010
Depending on the State where the property is located. I have done so the following ways.

My name (hubby quit claim)
Land Trust
LLC (can be expensive)

Good luck!
Hannah Fliegel
0 votes
Kathy Weber, Agent, Murrieta, CA
Fri Feb 5, 2010

Sounds like you've done this before with investments. I would definitely get an attorney's advice on pursuing any further ventures and find out if it'll still be considered "community" property even if you do a Quit Claim.

Good luck!
0 votes
Jane Grant, Agent, Aguanga, CA
Thu Feb 4, 2010
Sure you can. All you have to do is have your husband sign a quit claim deed. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quitclaim_deed

Web Reference:  http://www.soreal.biz
0 votes
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Thu Feb 4, 2010
Check with an attorney to make sure. However, there shouldn't be any problem doing so, if done properly. For asset protection, it might make sense to set up an LLC. You'd have to purchase it in your name (a lender won't lend to an LLC unless it's well established, and sometimes not even then), but then you'd transfer it into your LLC. A land trust would be even better protection, but fewer attorneys are aware of how they work.

Hope that helps.
0 votes
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Thu Feb 4, 2010
Best confer with real estate attorney depends on state of where your purchase maybe located.

0 votes
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