2009 California Civil Code - Section 678-703 :: Article 1. Interests In Property

CIVIL CODE
SECTION 678-703

678.  The ownership of property is either:
   1. Absolute; or,
   2. Qualified.

679.  The ownership of property is absolute when a single person has
the absolute dominion over it, and may use it or dispose of it
according to his pleasure, subject only to general laws.

680.  The ownership of property is qualified:
   1. When it is shared with one or more persons;
   2. When the time of enjoyment is deferred or limited;
   3. When the use is restricted.

681.  The ownership of property by a single person is designated as
a sole or several ownership.

682.  The ownership of property by several persons is either:
   1. Of joint interest;
   2. Of partnership interests;
   3. Of interests in common;
   4. Of community interest of husband and wife.

682.1.  (a) Community property of a husband and wife, when expressly
declared in the transfer document to be community property with
right of survivorship, and which may be accepted in writing on the
face of the document by a statement signed or initialed by the
grantees, shall, upon the death of one of the spouses, pass to the
survivor, without administration, pursuant to the terms of the
instrument, subject to the same procedures, as property held in joint
tenancy. Prior to the death of either spouse, the right of
survivorship may be terminated pursuant to the same procedures by
which a joint tenancy may be severed. Part I (commencing with Section
5000) of Division 5 of the Probate Code and Chapter 2 (commencing
with Section 13540), Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 13550) and
Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 13560) of Part 2 of Division 8
of the Probate Code apply to this property.
   (b) This section does not apply to a joint account in a financial
institution to which Part 2 (commencing with Section 5100) of
Division 5 of the Probate Code applies.
   (c) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2001, and shall
apply to instruments created on or after that date.

683.  (a) A joint interest is one owned by two or more persons in
equal shares, by a title created by a single will or transfer, when
expressly declared in the will or transfer to be a joint tenancy, or
by transfer from a sole owner to himself or herself and others, or
from tenants in common or joint tenants to themselves or some of
them, or to themselves or any of them and others, or from a husband
and wife, when holding title as community property or otherwise to
themselves or to themselves and others or to one of them and to
another or others, when expressly declared in the transfer to be a
joint tenancy, or when granted or devised to executors or trustees as
joint tenants. A joint tenancy in personal property may be created
by a written transfer, instrument, or agreement.
   (b) Provisions of this section do not apply to a joint account in
a financial institution if Part 2 (commencing with Section 5100) of
Division 5 of the Probate Code applies to such account.

683.1.  No contract or other arrangement made after the effective
date of this section between any person, firm, or corporation engaged
in the business of renting safe-deposit boxes and the renter or
renters of a safe-deposit box, shall create a joint tenancy in or
otherwise establish ownership in any of the contents of such
safe-deposit box. Any such contract or other arrangement purporting
so to do shall be to such extent void and of no effect.

683.2.  (a) Subject to the limitations and requirements of this
section, in addition to any other means by which a joint tenancy may
be severed, a joint tenant may sever a joint tenancy in real property
as to the joint tenant's interest without the joinder or consent of
the other joint tenants by any of the following means:
   (1) Execution and delivery of a deed that conveys legal title to
the joint tenant's interest to a third person, whether or not
pursuant to an agreement that requires the third person to reconvey
legal title to the joint tenant.
   (2) Execution of a written instrument that evidences the intent to
sever the joint tenancy, including a deed that names the joint
tenant as transferee, or of a written declaration that, as to the
interest of the joint tenant, the joint tenancy is severed.
   (b) Nothing in this section authorizes severance of a joint
tenancy contrary to a written agreement of the joint tenants, but a
severance contrary to a written agreement does not defeat the rights
of a purchaser or encumbrancer for value in good faith and without
knowledge of the written agreement.
   (c) Severance of a joint tenancy of record by deed, written
declaration, or other written instrument pursuant to subdivision (a)
is not effective to terminate the right of survivorship of the other
joint tenants as to the severing joint tenant's interest unless one
of the following requirements is satisfied:
   (1) Before the death of the severing joint tenant, the deed,
written declaration, or other written instrument effecting the
severance is recorded in the county where the real property is
located.
   (2) The deed, written declaration, or other written instrument
effecting the severance is executed and acknowledged before a notary
public by the severing joint tenant not earlier than three days
before the death of that joint tenant and is recorded in the county
where the real property is located not later than seven days after
the death of the severing joint tenant.
   (d) Nothing in subdivision (c) limits the manner or effect of:
   (1) A written instrument executed by all the joint tenants that
severs the joint tenancy.
   (2) A severance made by or pursuant to a written agreement of all
the joint tenants.
   (3) A deed from a joint tenant to another joint tenant.
   (e) Subdivisions (a) and (b) apply to all joint tenancies in real
property, whether the joint tenancy was created before, on, or after
January 1, 1985, except that in the case of the death of a joint
tenant before January 1, 1985, the validity of a severance under
subdivisions (a) and (b) is determined by the law in effect at the
time of death. Subdivisions (c) and (d) do not apply to or affect a
severance made before January 1, 1986, of a joint tenancy.

684.  A partnership interest is one owned by several persons, in
partnership, for partnership purposes.

685.  An interest in common is one owned by several persons, not in
joint ownership or partnership.

686.  Every interest created in favor of several persons in their
own right is an interest in common, unless acquired by them in
partnership, for partnership purposes, or unless declared in its
creation to be a joint interest, as provided in Section 683, or
unless acquired as community property.

687.  Community property is property that is community property
under Part 2 (commencing with Section 760) of Division 4 of the
Family Code.

688.  In respect to the time of enjoyment, an interest in property
is either:
   1. Present or future; and,
   2. Perpetual or limited.

689.  A present interest entitles the owner to the immediate
possession of the property.

690.  A future interest entitles the owner to the possession of the
property only at a future period.

691.  A perpetual interest has a duration equal to that of the
property.

692.  A limited interest has a duration less than that of the
property.

696.  Two or more future interests may be created to take effect in
the alternative, so that if the first in order fails to vest, the
next in succession shall be substituted for it, and take effect
accordingly.

697.  A future interest is not void merely because of the
improbability of the contingency on which it is limited to take
effect.

698.  When a future interest is limited to successors, heirs, issue,
or children, posthumous children are entitled to take in the same
manner as if living at the death of their parent.

699.  Future interests pass by succession, will, and transfer, in
the same manner as present interests.

700.  A mere possibility, such as the expectancy of an heir
apparent, is not to be deemed an interest of any kind.

701.  In respect to real or immovable property, the interests
mentioned in this Chapter are denominated estates, and are specially
named and classified in Part II of this Division.

702.  The names and classification of interests in real property
have only such application to interests in personal property as is in
this Division of the Code expressly provided.

703.  No future interest in property is recognized by the law,
except such as is defined in this Division of the Code.


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