Ownership Transfer

Shelly Scott, Assessor - Recorder - County Clerk

Click on a question to see the answer, or Open All Questions.

  • If I get married and add my spouse to the title of my home, will my house be reassessed?

    Your home will not be reappraised if you add your spouse or state registered domestic partner to the deed for your property. Interspousal transfers do not result in reassessments.

  • Can the Marin County Assessor advise me on how to change my title, what type of deed to use, and/or what it should say?

    No. The Marin County Assessor's staff cannot provide this type of information. Members of the Marin County Assessor's Office staff are forbidden by California law to practice law or provide legal advice; this prohibition includes giving advice about what forms you might need or how you should fill them out. We recommend that you contact a title company or seek the advice of an attorney before submitting deeds for recording that affect ownership.

  • What is an Affidavit of Death or an Affidavit of Death of Joint Tenant?

    An Affidavit of Death or an Affidavit of Death of Joint Tenant is a legal document that may be required by title companies or attorneys in order to make the death of the property owner a matter of public record. The notarized document should be recorded in the Marin Recorder's Office with a certified copy of the death certificate. For recording information, please contact the Marin County Recorder’s Office (415) 473-6092 or via email.

  • How can I change the name on my tax bill or add/delete someone to my title?

    The names that appear on a property tax bill or in the Marin County Assessor's records are based on the last deed recorded on your property. In order to change the name as it appears on assessment records and property tax bills, you must record a new document in the Marin County Recorder's Office. You will also need to file a Preliminary Change in Ownership Report at the time the deed is recorded. You can download a Preliminary Change in Ownership Report. For more information regarding the recording of documents please email us.

    The Marin County Recorder's Office is located at the Marin County Civic Center Room 232, 3501 Civic Center Drive, San Rafael, CA 94903. The office hours are from 8:00 a.m to 4:00 p.m.. Documents are recorded Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m.. You can bring your document to our office between those hours. If the document meets recording requirements, the staff will record it while you wait. Documents received after 3:00 p.m. may be accepted for recording the next business day. Documents can also be mailed to our office using one of the mailing addresses shown below. No faxed or emailed copies are accepted.

    Members of the Marin County Assessor's Office staff are forbidden by California law to practice law or provide legal advice; this prohibition includes giving advice about what forms you might need or how you should fill them out. We recommend that you seek legal advice and assistance from an attorney before filling out documents that affect the ownership of your property.

  • How do I change my mailing address?

    Mailing address changes can be submitted by filling out a Change of Mailing Address Form. The completed form should be:

    • mailed to Office of the Marin County Assessor-Recorder-County Clerk, P.O. Box C, Civic Center Branch, San Rafael, CA 94913, or
    • faxed to the office. The fax number is (415) 473-6542.
  • Can the death of an owner of real property result in a reassessment? When an owner of real estate dies, are we required to notify the Assessor's Office? Is this important even if the property is sold shortly after the death of the property owner?

    Real property is subject to reassessment as of the date of death of the property owner. The death of a property owner is a change in ownership and may affect your property taxes. It does not matter if the property is held in trust.

    California State Board of Equalization Property Tax Rule 462.260 states, "For purpose of reappraising real property as of the date of change in ownership (by will or intestate succession), the date of death of the decedent shall be used."

    California Revenue & Taxation Code Section 480 requires notification be given to the Assessor within 150 days after the date of death, or if the estate is probated, at the time the inventory and appraisal is filed. Therefore, it is important to notify the Assessor in a timely manner. To report the death of a property owner, you may fill out a Change in Ownership Statement Death of Real Property Owner and send it to the Marin County Assessor's Office with a copy of the death certificate. The mailing address is Marin County Assessor-Recorder-Marin County Clerk, PO Box C, San Rafael, CA 94913.

    Failure to report the death may result in penalties. If the property is in a trust, you may want to review the trust papers with an attorney.

    It is also important to inform the Assessor if there is a surviving spouse, or if the property is to be transferred from the estate to decedent's children. If the property is being transferred from a parent to child(ren), a Claim for Reassessment Exclusion for Transfer between Parent and Child form may be filed.

    These forms are important even if the property sells shortly after the owner's date of death. If no exclusion is processed, the estate will be liable for supplemental property taxes as of the date of death.

    For instruction on how to provide proper notification of the death of a property owner, please contact the Marin County Assessor Ownership Transfer Division, Our office is located at the Marin County Civic Center, 3501 Civic Center Drive room 208, San Rafael, CA. You can also contact a member of the Ownership transfer staff via phone at (415) 473-7231 or via email. Office hours are from 9:00 a.m to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday (closed major holidays).

    If you need additional information or have more questions related to the recording of documents, please contact us. Our office is located at the Marin County Civic Center, 3501 Civic Center Drive room 232, San Rafael, CA. You can also contact a member of the Recorder staff via phone at (415) 473-6092 or via email. Office hours are from 8:00 a.m to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday (closed major holidays).

  • Will a change in ownership affect my property taxes?

    A change in ownership may result in a change in the assessed value of your property which may result in a change to your property taxes. If a transfer is between parent and child or between spouses or state registered domestic partners, it may be excluded from reappraisal in certain circumstances.

  • What is a Preliminary Change-in-Ownership statement?

    The Preliminary Change-In-Ownership statement is a form that is required by State law to be filed with all property sales and transfers at the time of recording. If it is not filed, a $20 fee must be charged and the Marin County Assessor's Office will send out another statement to obtain the required information. This statement is used solely for appraisal purposes, and is confidential.

  • Can the recording of a deed, even if the transaction it represents does not involve the exchange of money, trigger a reassessment?

    Yes. The recording of a document resulting in a transfer of title could subject the property to a reassessment. The laws that govern change in ownership can be very complex. Because of that, the Marin County Assessor recommends you seek advice from a real estate attorney or title company. The California Revenue and Taxation Code section 60 through 69.5 govern change in ownership.

  • If I transfer my property to my children will it be automatically excluded from reassessment?

    No. To qualify for the parent-to-child, or child-to-parent exclusion, you must formally file a claim with the Marin County Assessor. There is a statutory filing period with certain restrictions. A Claim for Reassessment Exclusion for Transfer between Parent and Child form is considered timely filed if it is filed within three years after the date of purchase, or transfer, or prior to the transfer of the real property to a third party, whichever is earlier: California Revenue & Taxation Code Section 63.1.

    For instruction on how to provide proper notification of the death of a property owner, please contact the Marin County Assessor Ownership Transfer Division, Our office is located at the Marin County Civic Center, 3501 Civic Center Drive room 208, San Rafael, CA. You can also contact a member of the Ownership transfer staff via phone at (415) 473-7231 or via email. Office hours are from 9:00 a.m to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday (closed major holidays).

Contact Information

If you need additional information or have more questions, please contact us. Our office is located at the Marin County Civic Center, 3501 Civic Center Drive room 208, San Rafael, CA. You can also contact a member of the Ownership transfer staff via phone at (415) 473-7231 or via email. Office hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday (closed major holidays).