community property or community property with right of survivorship?

Asked by Xp, San Francisco, CA Wed Jan 26, 2011

me and my husband just bought a house, we're going to the title company tomorrow. they let us choose the property ownership interest. i just want to know what's different between community property with community property with right of survivorship? since he has a 29 years old son with his ex-wife and now we both have a 7 years old daughter, which is the best way to hold the title?

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Eileen Bermi…, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Thu Jan 27, 2011
Hi--How to hold title is a key question, and it is more complicated when there are others involved. In other words, it's ultimately most important to know what would occur with your property in the event something happened to you or your husband.

Here's what I would suggest: Meet with the title company and get its overview and opinion on holding title. Including right of survivorship simply means that if something happened to one of you, the other would automatically assume full ownership of the assets involved. Right of survivorship is usually connected to a joint tenancy form of holding title, which is typically not used by married people. Community property is a way of holding title so that assets acquired during marriage are owned by both individuals. You can make sure to specify right of survivorship.

I would also advise sorting out what would happen in other scenarios, and you can do that via a trust. A home is a big asset, and if your husband has an ex wife and son, and you both have a daughter, there are many different options for property ownership succession. This is best discussed with a good attorney. My partner and I had an estate plan drawn up years ago. It is not a fun process, but you feel much better after it's in place.

Best wishes. If you'd like an estate attorney recommendation, message me at

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