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Samuel Ford Law Torrance Estate Planning & Probate Lawyer
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Torrance Property Tax Planning Lawyer

Your home is one of your most treasured possessions. You’ve put time and effort into building a home you love, expanding its value so that your loved ones can make use of it when you no longer can. No one wants to imagine that the home they’ve dedicated so much time and effort to maintaining would end up having its value severely diminished by property taxes and fees. Yet without strategic planning by astute legal professionals, it is all too easy for this unfortunate outcome to occur.

Select legal professionals who are well-versed in the shifting sands of California property tax law

The real property we own is not only precious to us for personal reasons, but, as property owners in Los Angeles County, that real estate is likely to comprise the most valuable asset we possess. Valuable assets deserve protection to ensure their value remains intact. When real property gets transferred, the county assessor will reassess the value, and the property taxes due on the property will be based on that new reassessed value. If you have held on to your home for many years, this rise in property tax could amount to tens of thousands of dollars every single year. In many cases, this rise in taxes makes the real property too costly for the beneficiary to hold on to.

California law provides some exemptions from reassessment, however, those exemptions can depend on the structure of the transfer and are not always automatic. Your beneficiaries may have to actively claim the exemption in a timely manner. At Samuel Ford Law, we are highly versed in the changing laws affecting property taxes in California, especially as they pertain to the gifting of property through an estate plan or will. Contact our Torrance property tax planning lawyer to discuss your options for conveying real estate to your heirs in a way that will leave the most value possible remaining for your loved ones.

Changes to the law could affect existing estate plans and trusts

For years, California law under Proposition 13 provided an unlimited exemption from a reassessment of property taxes for a primary residence being transferred between parents and children, regardless of how the child intended to use the property (i.e., whether the child planned to use it as a primary residence or rental). A new ballot initiative, proposition 19, has changed this law so that the exemption on property tax reassessment no longer applies in the same manner. The exemption is only available if the child plans to make the residence his or her own primary residence and the exemption only excludes $1,000,000 from reassessment. If the child does not plan to live in the transferred residence, or the parent transfers property other than a primary residence, then this exclusion from property tax reassessment does not apply.

This change to the law not only impacts the amount of taxes due on property inherited by a child, but it also impacts the terms of certain trusts, such as qualified personal residence trusts (QPRTs) that property owners may have created years ago. If you are a property owner planning to pass real estate to your children through a California estate plan, or you have established a QPRT, it is imperative that you speak with a California property tax estate planning lawyer to determine how best to proceed.

Rely on a knowledgeable Torrance estate planning attorney to avoid unnecessary deductions from the estate you leave behind for your loved ones

At Samuel Ford Law, we are committed to staying abreast of developments in California property tax and estate tax law. For over ten years, our founding attorney, Samuel Ford, has dedicated his practice to providing efficient and effective estate planning solutions. Mr. Ford is constantly seeking out new opportunities to educate himself on legislative developments, best practices, and planning strategies through seminars, conferences, and workshops so that he feels confident he provides the best possible tax planning solutions for his clients in the Los Angeles South Bay community. Not only is Mr. Ford always seeking to expand his knowledge of estate planning and property tax law, but he is himself a sought-after speaker on the subject of transfer taxes before tax professional groups. Ensure that your estate plan is in the best possible position to provide lasting support for your loved ones by contacting the Torrance offices of Samuel Ford Law.

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