California recently passed a law allowing Revocable Transfer on Death Deeds. This new law is to take effect after January 1, 2016 and will allow an individual during his/her lifetime to make a transfer of real property to a named beneficiary to be distributed upon the death of the transferor.
This deed is also known as the revocable TOD deed and remains revocable until the death of the transferor. Preparing this deed will be an alternative route to avoiding probate as it relates to interests in real property.
Of course, there are specific rules governing the execution of the TOD deed such as capacity of the transferor, the type of deed form used, an acknowledgement before a notary public, and timely recordation in the county where the real property is located.
A TOD although useful in certain situations, is not a substitution for proper estate planning. Proper estate planning is always necessary to prevent probate. This usually means having a living trust to cover all your assets, a Will, and Powers of Attorney for property and health care.
To learn how our attorneys can assist you with your estate planning or other legal needs, contact us today.