Trusts and Estates

Ca. Trs. & Estates Quarterly 2014, Volume 20, Issue 3

PROPOSITION 13, CALIFORNIA PROPERTY TAXES, AND PLANNING FOR FAMILY-OWNED BUSINESSES: THE CHANGE IN OWNERSHIP RULES FOR REAL PROPERTY AND LEGAL ENTITIES HELD IN TRUST

By Matthew F. Burke, Esq.1*

The property tax field in California is rife with legal landmines, particularly when ownership of property is layered in trusts and in legal entities. It is crucial to understand how these rules work because an inadvertent change in ownership today can result in enormous additional property taxes over the expected period of ownership. Property owners are becoming increasingly sophisticated and litigious, and claims of malpractice in this area are becoming more common.

This article discusses the change of ownership rules, reassessment pitfalls and things a planner should take into account to minimize a client’s real property tax burden.

I. INTRODUCTION

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