Recently Tanis Alonso, one our Trust & Estate Loan Account Executives was interviewed by the staff at PropertyTaxTransferTrusts.com/ here are some of the highlights of that interview and the full interview can be found here: Trust Loan Interview
We sat in with noted Proposition 58, trust loan expert – Tanis Alonso, at Commercial Loan Corporation in Southern California. Tanis has a uniquely profound, global understanding of the entire trust loan process; and applies a very human, not simply financial, viewpoint to the process ~ as does the entire team at the cloanc.com organization; with a strong, genuine focus on “helping people” not simply implementing financial transactions…
Property Tax Transfer: Thank you so much for agreeing to chat with us about Proposition 58 and trust loans today…
Tanis Alonso: Of course. It’s my pleasure.
Property Tax Transfer: Great. Tanis, can we take a close look at how the basic trust loan process works in California, from your perspective, as a lender – and from the point of view of your average everyday beneficiary, many who need to keep parents property taxes… Some who want to sell a property they are inheriting from their parents – and of course the other beneficiaries to a trust or estate that are determined to keep that home, and fight that sale. But first, who is your typical caller? Who in the estate or trust scenario tends to reach out to you first?
Tanis Alonso: Basically, whomever is trying to not sell the inherited property – is generally the initial caller to my office. It might be the trustee, frequently at odds with certain beneficiaries… Or very often it’s a family member, one of the beneficiary’s to the trust that doesn’t want to sell that home.
Property Tax Transfer: Got it. So, what does an average Proposition 58 property transfer and trust loan scenario in California look like, contributing to peace of mind for property owners? There must be similar scenarios, that reflect average trust or estate outcomes all across the state.
Tanis: Absolutely. One of the most common scenarios we see, here at Commercial Loan Corp., are elderly parents, for example… who, sadly, pass away, leaving loved ones behind. So, let’s say there is an estate, or perhaps a trust, and there are three beneficiaries involved… And property is the only asset… Let’s say there are no cash accounts. And this is not uncommon these days.
Property Tax Transfer: Yes, we hear that it’s quite common to see a trust inheritance, or probate estate, where there is very little cash left at the end of the road…
Tanis: Exactly. Parents who pass away in their nineties let’s say, who basically have spent most of their cash assets that were in savings, or in stocks and bonds, and by the time they get into their mid or late nineties, those assets are mostly gone, cashed out or spent –
Property Tax Transfer: OK. So there isn’t much money left in many inheritances… So what do beneficiaries do? When do these conflicts we hear so much about begin, when a house is being inherited by several beneficiaries… some who wish to sell, and some who prefer to keep the property, and to keep parents property taxes?
Tanis: Well, here is a typical middle class inherited real estate scenario – let’s say, for example, there are three beneficiaries and no other assets being inherited except an older home. One beneficiary wants to keep the house, to keep parents property taxes; while the other two siblings prefer to get cash from an immediate house sale, probably through a nearby realtor. But – instead of selling to a buyer, here is where Proposition 58 and a trust loan comes into play, providing liquidity and compliance with the Proposition 58 tax system – furnishing the two siblings who prefer to sell, with enough cash liquidity as if they had sold their shares in the inherited property to a buyer…
Property Tax Transfer: So why not sell? Why the trust loan?
Tanis: Because with a loan to a trust there is the upside of less expense. Frequently, we’re talking about ten times less of an expense than would normally be involved in a house sale. Again, a process compensating beneficiaries through a trust loan, instead of a house sale or coming up with the cash yourself… versus a formal house sale through a realtor that would cost approximately ten times the amount to process the entire scenario, a house sale, with realtor commission and fees, taxes, ancillary costs, etc…
Property Tax Transfer: Paying off the beneficiaries who wanted the cash from a house sale in the first place, right?
Tanis (Commercial Loan Corporation): Exactly. And so the rest of the trust loan goes to pay for 100% of parents Proposition 13 tax base – and the Proposition 58 tax system makes it possible to transfer the property to the beneficiary or beneficiaries that did not want to sell – to keep parents property taxes at the low Proposition 13 tax rate – or involving Proposition 193 if it is real property, not left by the parents, but by grandparents.
Property Tax Transfer: You say ten times less on expenses versus paying for it yourself?
Tanis Alonso: Absolutely. It costs the families we help far less to get a trust loan from us, believe it or not, then it does if they were to dig into their own savings to complete the Proposition 58 property transfer process.
Property Tax Transfer: How does that translate in terms of real numbers?
Tanis Alonso: Let’s say a property value is currently one million dollars and the current tax base is $1,200. If they were to get reassessed at current value that would be around $11,000 annually. By someone keeping the property and obtaining a trust loan to properly buy out their siblings that allows the beneficiary that is keeping the property to keep parents property taxes, to retain 100% of the Proposition 13 tax base that was paid by their parents and keep that low property tax base of $1,200. This of course creates much greater affordability than if they were to improperly buy out their siblings and have that property reassessed. The loan to trust goes hand in hand with the Proposition 58 property tax transfer system, creating enough liquidity to equalize distributions, not sell, and allow a beneficiary to keep their parents property with their low property tax base.
Property Tax Transfer: It sounds counter intuitive, doesn’t it.
Tanis Alonso: I know, it does sound counter intuitive – yet it’s true. All you have to do is run the numbers yourself, and you’ll see what I’m talking about. It’s a better way to be able to keep an inherited house in the family, and to keep parents property taxes, when there is a dispute going on that pits the beneficiary who wants to keep a house against the beneficiaries that want to sell that home. A home that a family has so many memories associated with; with such strong emotional attachments to. There are so many wonderful family memories that are attached to each home. And every home is unique and different in that sense, just as every family member is different and unique.
Property Tax Transfer: You mean emotional memories you can’t replace with cash, in fact you can’t buy for any amount of money.
Tanis Alonso: That’s right. Anyway, this process allows families to keep that home in the family. And that’s the most important point!
Property Tax Transfer: It is the crucial point.
Tanis Alonso: Absolutely. And as a person on the front lines for this firm, neither I or Commercial Loan Corp. view each trust loan scenario as simply a “financial transaction”. Nor do we see the home they’ve lived in for decades as just a “piece of real property”. To us, this a “piece of family history” in the making. And the process a family decision, not a “transaction”. We see our clients as real families that we’re helping, financially and emotionally, not just as clients signing a contract for a trust loan. For us it’s much more than that.
Property Tax Transfer: It’s very obvious that you really enjoy helping people… getting them money when they really need it – and saving them on the cost side in the bargain, with trust loans.
Tanis Alonso: Correct. We see them as real people that we’re able to help in a time of need. For us it’s so much more than cash and property – we don’t view it that way. We’re talking about family history here. Not just “another deal”.
Property Tax Transfer: Tanis, let me ask you… Beneficiaries that call your company, desperate to keep parents property taxes; for any solution to their property transfer / Proposition 58 issue – is it a safe bet to assume that 99% of the time there are elements that come up again and again?
Tanis: Well, that’s true, to a point. With beneficiaries that call us, with a trust or estate situation, there is always real property being inherited, going to one or several beneficiaries… and little, if any, cash – and each family always has different dynamics. There are always differences, as regards the people and details involved. But, the one constant you can be sure of is that there is always someone who wants to sell… and always someone who wants to keep the property they are inheriting… dead set against selling.
Property Tax Transfer: And at the end of the tunnel, is it safe to assume that with your company it’s generally a win-win equation, for everyone involved. Everyone involved, more or less, get what they want, right?
Tanis Alonso (Commercial Loan Corporation): That’s right. 99% of the time. The beneficiary, or beneficiaries, that want cash from the sale of the property that they’re inheriting, get the cash they were looking for, from the trust loan…
Property Tax Transfer: And the beneficiary or beneficiaries that want to keep the house, get to keep that house, and keep parents property taxes…
Tanis: Yes! And let me say that, typically, this is a really, really big win for them – as the siblings that wanted to sell are usually very vocal, and very aggressive about their desire to do so! That beneficiary that wants to keep that property, that is also able to get the other siblings a large amount of cash for their shares in the inherited real estate – while still being able to keep the home they’re so attached to, and keep parents property taxes; keeping parents property tax rate. This would be practically impossible, were it not for our trust loan. And there’s your win-win equation!
Property Tax Transfer: And what about the cost factor? Costs involved in the equation… How does everyone benefit on that level, getting cash to the beneficiaries that wanted cash from a house sale? Versus coming up with property buyout cash themselves…
Tanis Alonso (Commercial Loan Corporation): OK, so cost involved, selling versus keeping inherited property. I’ll try to keep the equation simple. Costs associated with this property funding process through a trust loan, paying for everything, including beneficiary property shares buyout, taxes, etc. is, on average, 3.5% – So by someone keeping the family property everyone will receive more money than if they were to sell the property at approximately 6.5% in costs. The average trust receives $45,716 more to distribute than if they were to sell the property to some random buyer. Each beneficiary on average is receiving $16,652 more by someone keeping the property, instead of selling it. And our average annual tax savings is $6,043. We have already saved a combined amount just shy of 1 million dollars for our clients on property taxes. That is a significant benefit for all beneficiaries when someone keeps the property instead of selling it!
PropertyTax Transfer: So you’re saying those savings would have been completely lost, per beneficiary, if they had sold out to a regular buyer…
Tanis Alonso (Commercial Loan Corporation): That’s right. For example, say it’s you and your sister. A major conflict. You want to keep the house you’re all inheriting from your parents, plus keep parents property taxes. Why should I let my sister sell? The solution there is because you are going to get more cash in your hands than if you were to sell the property! That’s the bottom line. A trust loan transaction takes 7-10 business days whereas selling will take a few months. Everyone receives more money, more rapidly, then if they were to sell the property on the open market. Everyone benefits from this… it’s win-win all the way around.
PropertyTaxTransfer: So you let your sister sell, so everyone wins – is what you’re saying.
Tanis: Of course! Let her sell, let her get her way – and you end up getting your way… you get what you wanted, to keep your house with everyone paid off and happy. No more conflict. On a $500,000 property – do you want to spend 6.5% to sell that property, with a realtor, or 3.5% through our trust loan, in keeping with the Proposition 58 tax system? Which number would you want to give away, 6.5% or 3.5%?
Property Tax Transfer: Naturally. So the long range picture looks like increases in taxes as well, so that’s not as affordable either.
Tanis: Absolutely right. In certain cases a property tax reassessment can add an extra $700 to $1000 per month to your property taxes. That’s an extra $1,000 per month – not per year! Month after month. That is affordability vs not affordability to many.
Property Tax Transfer: Going through the Proposition 58 tax system, with the trust loan paying everyone off… What would property taxes look like going down that road?
Tanis: OK so the question is, “why do I need a trust loan to buy out beneficiaries who want to sell our inherited house?” The answer is you can still keep the house you’re inheriting, and not spend any of your own money in the process. The importance of the trust loan is that you can buy out your siblings and still keep parents property taxes. You keep 100% of the low Proposition 13 property tax base that was originally paid by your parents. If you were to use your own money to buy out your siblings, the State Board of Equalization would see that as a sibling buying out a sibling – and that would definitely trigger a property tax reassessment. Naturally, the result of that would be higher taxes. So you need the trust loan to buy out your siblings in order to take advantage of Proposition 58, and keep the low property tax base.
Property Tax Transfer: Most people don’t have that kind of cash on hand nor do they want to use all of their cash for this just to buy out beneficiaries in an estate setting. Especially if the numbers go higher…
Tanis Alonso (Commercial Loan Corporation): Beneficiaries who want to keep their inherited property still put a lot more money in their pocket, still save a lot more, by not using their own funds… by buying out beneficiaries that want to sell by going the trust loan route. Staying within the discounted Proposition 13 tax base, being able to keep parents property taxes … taking advantage of the Proposition 58 property tax system, or tax shelter. Using this tax shelter that we looked at before, if you recall – would be around $1,200 per year on a million dollar property. Saving thousands of dollars annually on property taxes by taking advantage of Proposition 58; keeping their parents low property tax base.
Property Tax Transfer: Yes, the difference in the numbers are stunning.
Tanis Alonso (Commercial Loan Corporation): Yes it is. So if you use your own money to buy out your siblings you will trigger a reassessment… if that was reassessed normally, without doing the property transfer and beneficiary payoff with our trust loan – you’d be looking at an $11,000 tax hit per year on the same million dollar property! If reassessed at the current, present day, base rate – that tax hit goes up 10 times. A significant difference in cash back in your pocket after it’s all done and said. Trust loans are a huge benefit for all of these families and that’s how we’re able to really help people in a significant way.
Property Tax Transfer: The amount of money saved really is remarkable. And I can see that you genuinely enjoy helping your clients save a great deal of money with these trust loans. Making great use of the low Proposition 13 base rate, and the Proposition 58 property transfer tax shelter… The formula works!
Tanis Alonso: Absolutely. And helping people in this way is what it’s all about! That entire viewpoint is the basis for this whole company, from the top down – starting with the CEO, who is a truly terrific guy, who genuinely loves helping people, with money, memories, and time. And you can’t replace memories and time!
Property Tax Transfer: You can’t replace memories and time… Very well put! That is a concept to remember.
Tanis Alonso: It is so important to remember, when you truly care about what happens to the people you’re helping.
Property Tax Transfer: Very true. Your clients are lucky to have you folks working for them. Thanks so much for speaking with us today.
Tanis Alonso: Thank you. It was a great pleasure chatting with you.
If you have questions about a loan for an Irrevocable Trust, or about California Proposition 58, please call Tanis at 877-464-1066.