Legal Question in Real Estate Law in California

Correction Deed

My wife and I received our home from my wife's Grandmother and Mother on Dec.2001. It's our first home. Before title transfer, we wanted to preserve the pre-Proposition 13 tax status, by filing a Proposition 58. This was later denied because the GrandMother and Mother were in ''Joint Tenancy''. The Assessor's office is telling us that we can file a ''Correction Deed'' to revert everything back. Afterwards, everything would need to be transfered the correct way. To make matters worse, the Mother passed away in April of 2002.

Should I raise my hands in frustration and give up? I've tried over the last year to find an Attorney experienced with this type of correction.. but haven't been able to find any. After a whole year of this.. I'm quite lost on what to do.

Any suggestions? Thank you so much for your help.

Asked on 2/04/03, 2:37 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

H.M. Torrey The Law Offices of H.M. Torrey

Re: Correction Deed

i, like alot of the other attorneys you mentioned, would have to look deeper into "the correction deed" remedy. but if you would like to give me more detailed information on your case, i am more than happy to try to assist you in this matter before you throw your hands up in frustration, ok:)

[email protected]

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Answered on 2/04/03, 2:42 pm

Bryan Whipple Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law

Re: Correction Deed

I recall seeing a LawGuru posting with similar facts about six months ago. In researching the matter, I discovered that the Los Angeles County Assessor has an interesting Web site on this general subject. However, as I recall, they were telling the public that claiming the exemption has strict time limits, so that it might not be possible to correct the assessment situation at the assessor level even if a court reformed the deed(s).

I believe the process for 'reforming' (the technical word for correcting an erroneous instrument) is rather straightforward, and any real estate or general-practice attorney should know how to do it. If you don't find someone who sounds competent locally, feel free to contact me, as I have done it before.

However, as I indicated, you more serious problem may be whether ex post facto deed corrections will cause the assessor to restore the previous Prop. 13 assessment base. If you have local assurances that that would happen, that's good, but I would examine that area of the law very thoroughly before filing a suit to reform the deeds. Remember, county officials are bound by the law, not by any legally-inaccurate information they give you in response to your questions.

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Answered on 2/04/03, 2:59 pm

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