Proposition 19 changes the way real estate may be passed down from parents to children in California. Here are 6 key things you should know about this new law:
- Prop 19 eliminates the ability for children to receive property from their parents without a property tax reassessment unless (adult) children use the property as their own primary residence andthe property has gained less than one million in value over the original assessed value.
- Previously, a parent could transfer their primary residence and up to one million of assessed value of other real estate (residential and commercial) to their children without reassessment. Please note that Prop 19 does notimpact capital gains taxes or eliminate the step up in basis for inherited properties – it only affects property tax reassessments.
- Prop 19 goes into effect on February 16, 2021 and will impact properties transferred after that date. Because of holidays, however, the transfers must be recorded by February 11, 2021 to meet the deadline.
- There is special Prop 19 planning available to avoid the consequences of Prop 19. This Special Prop 19 planning consists of transferring the property to an irrevocable trust before the deadline to preserve the lower property tax basis.
- This special Prop 19 planning is best suited for those (a) who own a property with a high current market value and a low property tax assessed value, and (b) who plan to gift that property to their children upon death, and (c) whose children intend to keep the property for a rental, vacation home, or commercial building.
- This special Prop 19 planning is not for everyone. There are many drawbacks and unknowns (the legislature has yet to write the details so there is much yet still to be determined) with this planning. For example, it would require you to give up all rights and use of your primary residence from now on, meaning your children could potentially kick you out of the home. For commercial properties, you would have to give up all rights to the rental income and principal now, meaning your children would receive it from this point forward. Also, please be aware, properties with a mortgage generally will not qualify for this special Prop 19 planning because lenders often legally prohibit these types of property transfers. Finally, if the transfer is allowed, there is added expense in creating the irrevocable trust now and administering it into the future.
If you would like to discuss whether Prop 19 planning is appropriate for you, please call CaliLaw at 626.355.4000 to schedule a phone call with a member of our team.