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Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
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Experience:  25 years experience
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Community property ownership vs joint tenancy

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Community property ownership vs joint tenancy
Dear JACUSTOMER - The reason you are getting different answers is that it always depends on the situation. "Joint tenancy" is simply when two or more persons are named on the title to property. The joint tenancy can come in different forms such as "with survivorship" or tenants in common etc. So in order to be "joint tenancy" both names must be on the title or account as the case may be. "Community property" is a concept used in several states to define the interest married persons have in property owned by each other. It would include jointly held property as well as property only owned by one of the parties but acquired during the marriage. In general, all "joint" property would also be community property but no all property held in only one name would be community property. Property that was owned prior to marriage or inherited during marriage and kept separate and apart from the other spouse would not be community property. I hope that explains the concept but if you have any specific question as to specific property please let me know.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Dave - Did you get my follow up question. I have closing tommorrow!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Sorry it doesn't look like my reply went through. In my research ir appears they may be a capital gains advantage to going community property, but i'm not sure that even applies to a primary residence? Is there any other advantage / disadavantage to choosing community property with right of survivorship over joint tenancy with the same?
I have no idea how community property would affect capital gains. You either own the property with someone else or you don't. If the property is community property then the cash you receive will be community property. That fact that it is or isn't community property would only be relevant in a death or a divorce but I don't see any effect on capital gains. To be certain of any effect on your taxes you would have to check with your tax preparer since I am an attorney and not a CPA. The tax consequences always depend on the individual situation of the person involved and are not the same for everyone.
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