If you transfer or acquire an interest in real property, it is a good idea to have the document (Deed) reviewed by an attorney. The manner of transfer or taking title can have serious tax consequences.
In California, it is almost impossible to sell real property without the permission of a title insurance company. They are the final determination (except for the Court) as to legal title. Consult with an attorney to make sure the documents are done right the first time.
Every year, real property owners pay millions in unnecessary estate, property, and income taxes. Ask your attorney to explain issues of terms used in the documents, including “stepped up basis”, “Prop 13”, and “residence exclusion”, among others, as they each have significant legal ramifications.
One of the most common mistakes is to add a joint tenant because of an anticipated / expected death. This is almost always a big mistake tax-wise.
It is critical for your real property interests to ensure that legal title is properly stated in the legal documents and that you understand the documents which you are signing.