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Transfers of real property can be made by recording of an instrument. Recording an instrument does not make a transaction legal. It only provides public notice of a private transaction.
Transferring a property to a third party, adding, or removing a person from title, transferring a property into or out of a trust are examples of changes in ownership that you can accomplish by preparing and recording an instrument.
The most common types of instruments used to change title are:
Affidavit of Death
We highly recommend that you consult an attorney, title company, or professional document preparation service if you are contemplating making any change in ownership to real property. Without the advice of a professional, you cannot really be sure that the document you record will be interpreted the way you intended.
Please note that changes to title may result in a reassessment of the property and a change in your property taxes. Additionally, many transfers are subject to Documentary Transfer Tax and some may trigger an I.R.S. gift tax or other legal consequences. These considerations should be made when recording an instrument.
If you choose to prepare the instrument(s) yourself, it is your responsibility to determine the appropriate form(s) and course of action that best suit your needs. Under California law, Assessor Clerk Recorder’s Office staff are prohibited from providing legal advice. This prohibition includes offering any guidance as to what actions must be undertaken, how to complete the forms, or determining what forms are required in making changes to title for real property.