When a person dies owning real estate, there is a form that must be filed with the county recorder or assessor in each county where the decedent owned real estate.
Whenever there is a change in ownership of real property, a manufactured home, or a floating home that is subject to local property taxation and is assessed by the county assessor, Revenue and Taxation Code §480(b) requires that the transferee file a Change in Ownership Statement Death of Real Property Owner (Form BOE-502-D) with the Assessor in each county where the decedent owned property at the time of death.
When a probate proceeding is initiated for the decedent’s estate, the personal representative shall file the change in ownership statement with the county recorder or assessor in each county in which the decedent owned real property at the time of death that is subject to probate proceedings. The statement is due prior to or at the time the inventory and appraisal is filed with the court clerk.
If there isn’t a probate proceeding for the decedent’s estate, including a transfer through a trust, the change in ownership statement shall be filled by the trustee (if the property was held in trust) or by the transferee with the county recorder or assessor in each county in which the decedent owned an interest in real property within 150 days after the date of death. The change in ownership statement may be attached to or accompany the deed or other document evidencing a change in ownership filed for recording.
If the document evidencing a change in ownership is not recorded or is recorded without the concurrent filing of a change in ownership statement, then the statement shall be filed with the assessor no later than 90 days from the date the change in ownership occurs, except that where the change in ownership has occurred by reason of death the statement shall be filed within 150 days after the date of death or, if the estate is probated, shall be filed at the time the inventory and appraisal is filed
There is a fine of either $100 or 10% of the taxes applicable to the new base year value of the real property or manufactured home, whichever is greater, but not to exceed $5,000 if the property is eligible for the homeowners’ exemption or $20,000 if the property is not eligible for the homeowner’s exemption if the failure to file was not willful.