Ocasionally, as Realtors, we come accross information which can prove invaluable to many of our clients. In doing so we may provide information where the services of a Licensed Professional may be better suited, but nonetheless the advice is of greater benefit to the public, so we will bring forth such information with a disclaimer that you should consult with an attorney before implementing any adivice regarding your estate, will and/or sucession plan.
California Assembly Bill 139 provides for the AUTOMATIC TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP OF RESIDENTIAL REAL PROPERTY UPON THE DEATH OF THE OWNER WITHOUT THE NEED FOR PROBATE.
The new law requires the recording of a statutory form document entitled “Simple Revocable Transfer on Death Deed” (“TOD”).
There are now four different ways by which an owner can direct who shall become the new owner of real property. More commonly, the owner could have a will; a creation of a trust; or vested in joint tenancy with right of survivorship. However, an owner can now simply have a “Recovable Transfer Upon Death Deed” recorded (TOD). This new deed is helpful because it avoids probate, which is a lengthy legal process sometimes lasting up to a year. Also, it provides another option to the creation of a trust which can cost upwards of $2,000.00. The new TOD Deed is cheap to implement and simple to use.
5 basic features of a TOD Deed:
1. Property is one to four residential dwelling units, condo units, or not more than 40 acres of agricultural land.
2. The revocable TOD deed must be signed, dated before a notary.
3. The TOD deed does not need to be delivered to the beneficiary.
4. The TOD deed must be recorded 60 days or less from the time it is signed.
5. The deed may be revoked by the transferor at any time.
3 methods to revoke the TOD deed.
1. A revocation form can be recorded.
2. A new and different TOD deed may be recorded.
3. The property can be transferred to someone else, and that deed recorded, prior to the transferor’s death.