Personal Property

If a mobile home does not have a permanent foundation and cannot be registered with the state government using Form 433A, it may be a type of personal property.

While larger, transportable mobile homes may still be registered with the California Department of Housing and Community Development, smaller units may be titled with the Department of Motor Vehicles. 

Mobile Homes in Estate Planning

Accounting for a mobile or manufactured home in a conventional estate plan could prove an unexpected challenge. Even mobile homes that are not considered real property must typically be titled. If the mobile home is placed in probate, the title must be transferred to a designated beneficiary. The simplicity of transferring a mobile home’s title could be dependent on how it’s classified.

Possible Classifications of a Mobile Home

A primary residence

A primary residence is the place in which the deceased person, or decedent, spent the majority of their time.

A secondary residence

A secondary residence is a place the decedent occupied for a portion of each year but not the place in which they lived day-to-day.

Mobile homes can sometimes meet the definition of both primary and secondary residences.

While permanent manufactured homes that served as the decedent’s primary place of residence could be transferred and re-titled in the same manner as another real property, mobile homes that better meet the definition of secondary residence—or personal property—could be comparatively problematic. This is because smaller, transportable mobile homes can depreciate in value quickly and are often worth less than the land where they’re located.

If a smaller mobile home sits on owned personal property, it may be better to bequeath the property to a beneficiary with the mobile home included rather than gifting each property separately.

Including a Manufactured Home in Your California Estate Plan

Manufactured homes can prove frustrating for heirs. However, you do not have to leave your legacy to chance. The Law Firm of Kavesh, Minor & Otis, Inc. has spent decades helping California residents of different backgrounds establish and protect their legacies. Our experienced team of attorneys could help you include a mobile home in your estate plan by:

Philip J. Kavesh
Nationally recognized attorney helping clients with customized estate planning guidance for over 40 years.