How to Maintain Property with Right of Survivorship in California Real Estate

Through a real case, we will explore how to maintain property with the right of survivorship, a relevant topic when purchasing real estate in California.


Juan Archena and Nicosia Archena are married and are in the process of purchasing a condo in California. They want to make sure that if one of them dies, the survivor has ownership of the condo right away. How can they maintain the property with right of survivorship?

Response Options:

We must focus on the “right of survival.”

1. Community Property with Right of Survivorship:

This option is available for married couples or couples registered as domestic partners. In this case, Juan and Nicosia, being married, can opt for this form of ownership. When one spouse dies, the survivor automatically acquires, by operation of law, the property interest of the deceased.

2. Joint Tenants with Right of Survivorship:

This option is available to both married couples and couples registered as domestic partners and unrelated or unmarried individuals. In this case, Juan and Nicosia have the option to maintain the property as joint tenants. When one of the co-owners dies, the survivor immediately acquires, through the operation of the law, the property interest of the deceased.

Important to know

When property is held as joint tenants, there may be more than two joint title holders at the same time. This is a key distinction to keep in mind.


Remember that ownership “in severalty” means that there are an unique owner in the title. This term is essential to understanding the difference between tenure options.

Legal and Tax Disclaimer

Please be advised that the content presented in this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal or tax advice. The articles and information provided here are written from the perspective of a real estate agent affiliated with Keller Williams, and do not represent legal or tax counsel.

As the author, I am a licensed real estate professional under Keller Williams, holding Brokerage DRE License Number: #02197031. However, it is important to note that my expertise is in the field of real estate, and not in legal or tax matters. The insights and opinions shared on this blog are based on my experiences and knowledge in the real estate industry and should be treated as general guidance rather than definitive legal or tax advice.

For specific legal or tax concerns relating to any real estate transactions or investments, readers are strongly encouraged to consult with a qualified attorney or tax advisor who can provide tailored advice based on your individual circumstances and the latest legal and regulatory requirements.

The information on this blog is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, and I, along with Keller Williams and its affiliates, disclaim all liability for any loss, damage, or misunderstanding arising from reliance on the information contained herein.

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