County of San Diego

ASSESSOR | RECORDER | COUNTY CLERK

Ernest J. Dronenburg, Jr.

Real Estate Ownership and Title Information 


Preliminary Change of Ownership Report (PCOR) is required when transferring property to anyone. (RTC 480.2)

Upon payment of proper fees and taxes, the County Recorder will accept any document that is authorized or required by California law to be recorded. View the DTT/PCOR/SB2 tab of our Recording page at the link below.

Real property is frequently placed into a trust for income tax or inheritance purposes. Generally, the creation of a trust does not cause a reassessment for property tax purposes.

For more information concerning the possible property tax consequences of a trust, please call the Assessor’s Office at (858) 505-6262. ​​

A trust is a legal arrangement whereby property is held by one party for the benefit of another (beneficiary) for a specific length of time.

Generally, placing real property into a trust is not a change in ownership that causes a reassessment as long as you are the sole owners, the trust is revocable or the beneficial interest is not transferred. ​

A transfer of beneficial interest occurs immediately whenever the use or the benefit of the property is transferred to someone else. ​

A revocable trust is one that can be withdrawn, changed or canceled during the term of the trust agreement. These are often called "living trusts".​

For property tax purposes, an irrevocable trust is one that cannot be canceled, changed or withdrawn for a period of 12 years or more.​

No. Interspousal transfers of property are exempt from reappraisal regardless of whether or not it is in a trust. However, a reappraisal may be required upon the death of the last surviving spouse unless it is transferred to the children and the necessary parent/child exclusion application is filed and approved with the Assessor’s Office. ​

The property will be reappraised when the ownership transfers to your daughter unless she applies for and receives a Parent/Child Exclusion from reappraisal at that time. No reappraisal will occur so long as you continue to receive the benefit of the property.​

For questions concerning the income tax provisions or legal ramifications of a particular trust arrangement, you should discuss this with your legal representative and financial adviser.​

Under Proposition 13, a reassessment takes place upon a change of ownership or transfer of title.

It is always best to review any proposed ownership change with the Assessor's Office in advance to determine any possible property tax consequences.

A change in the method of holding title in itself does not cause a reappraisal. For example, if two equal partners incorporate, and each owns 1/2 of the corporate stock, no reappraisal is required. In this case, the proportional ownership has not changed, only the method of holding title. ​

In this method of holding title, there is only a reassessment if there has been a change of beneficial interest or control. For example, revocable trust (i.e. living trusts) are not subject to reappraisal. Irrevocable trusts are reappraisable if the recipient or beneficiary is not the current owner.

Whenever real property is leased for 35 years or more, including options, a reappraisal is required. If the tenant then transfers or subleases that property with more than 35 years remaining on the original lease, State law requires it to be reappraised again. However, if the owner transfers or sells the leased property, a reappraisal is required only if there is less than 35 years remaining on the lease. ​

Under this method, a reassessment occurs when there is a change in the controlling interest of a corporation or partnership. A controlling interest is defined as an interest greater than 50%. These changes in ownership are monitored and reported by the State Board of Equalization.

Under this form of co-ownership, each owner owns a specific percentage of the property. At death, tenants-in-common pass their interest in the property to their legal heir. The transfer of a tenancy-in-common interest will cause a reappraisal (unless it is a husband/wife or parent/child transfer) but only for the interest that has been transferred.

Under this method of holding title, each owner holds the property jointly with the other owners. Upon the death of one owner, the property passes to the surviving joint tenant. For assessment purposes, the termination of a joint tenancy (other than husband and wife or parent/child transfers) causes a reappraisal. A joint tenant, however, may be added without causing a reappraisal.​