April 2024 Newsblog

(Real questions sent to us – verbatim!)

My father passed away 3 years ago and my siblings and I finally decided to sell his property. It was in my father’s Trust and I was his successor trustee. About 6 months after the sale I got a property tax bill for almost $10,000 and the escrow officer said this is not an amount that the Buyer is responsible for, that it should be paid by the Trust. Can you explain why we would get such a tax bill when we no longer own the property?

Most people don’t know that, in California, once a homeowner passes away, a notice of their death has to be filed within 150 days with the County Tax Assessor. See their information link here –  https://assessor.lacounty.gov/homeowners/death-of-an-owner Then, by law, the Assessor reassesses the property to the value at that time and future taxes will be calculated on the new value.

However, if you did not alert the Assessor of your father’s death until an Affidavit of Death of Trustee was filed at close of escrow, then the Assessor will reassess the value using the date of his death as a starting point. They will charge supplement taxes from the date of death to the date you closed escrow on the sale to a new Buyer. In your case, this supplement tax is your $10,000 tax bill for 3 years. 

Please note, if your father’s taxes were very low because he owned the property for a long time, and the value increased considerably through the years, you could end up with a huge tax bill.

When there are TWO original Trustees to the Trust, for instance in a husband and wife situation, there is no reassessment when the first spouse passes away and the Affidavit of Death of Trustee is recorded. However, the reassessment does happen when the remaining Trustee passes away and the Trust has become irrevocable and handled by a Successor Trustee. The Assessor will go back to the date of death of the last Trustee to figure new property valuations and charge the Trust for the amount. 

The Los Angeles County Assessor’s website has a fact sheet to explain what happens when there is a death of a real property owner. Here is the link – https://res.cloudinary.com/los-angeles-county-assessor/image/upload/v1643913005/Factsheet/Death_of_Real_Prop_Owner_Factsheet_EN.pdf


~ Cute video of the Month ~ 
When Fonts Hang Out


~ 3 Travel Tips for the Month ~ 

Looking forward to an international vacation? 

  • Check your passport expiration date before you plan your trip dates. 
  • Need renewal? Skip sleeping the night before your passport photo. That way, it’ll be much more accurate in reflecting how you’re going to look to customs officers after international flights.
  • Apply for Global Entry and TSA Precheck.



My YouTube Offering for the Month

What if someone signed for a dead person? What, you think it doesn’t happen?


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