Revocable Transfer Upon Death Deed (Law expired at the end of the year 2020)
This law went into effect January 1, 2016 created a non-probate method for conveying interest in real property upon death and thus can save middle-class Californians thousands of dollars. The law simplifies the way real property assets are transferred upon death through use of a simple form.
Transfer is accomplished by means of a revocable transfer upon death deed (also known as RTDD or other web sites refer to it as TOD). Several web site allow you to down load this form.
The RTDD automatically transfers ownership of the property upon the death of the owner. The RTDD is allowable for 1-4 residential units, a condo, or agricultural land of 40 acres or less which contains a single family residence.
A RTDD may only be revoked by a recorded document but can be revoked at any time.
The bill allows an individual to name beneficiaries. The document MUST be recorded at the county where the property is located within 60 days of notarizing it.
The law makes the RTDD effective for any transferor who dies on or after January 1, 2016, regardless of when the RTDD was executed or recorded.
No RTDD may be executed on or after January 1, 2021, which is the scheduled expiration of the law.
The deed is only effective at death and does not affect any ownership rights during the transferor’s lifetime.
There are several web sites that talk about RTDD or TOD and we recommend a thorough study of these sites. Keep in mind, however, that many sites are written by attorneys that do not benefit from this law and their comments are a bit bias against the law.
AB 139 helps homeowners avoid costly probate fees and unintended burdens on family members.