Effective January 1, 2022, the California State Legislature enacted noteworthy changes to the state's laws governing transfer-on-death deeds—also called TOD deeds. A California TOD deed is a legal document that conveys real estate to a designated beneficiary when the current owner dies. TOD deeds—which have become a popular tool in California estate planning—allow property owners to transfer real estate outside of probate. The recent legislative amendment's principal objective is to mitigate … [Read more...]
What is the Right Deed Title for Your Deed?
I see lots of confusion from clients about deed titles. Some clients request a lady bird, then get confused when I send them a deed that doesn’t say “Lady Bird Deed” in big letters across the top. Others say that they want the owner to be responsible for title issues but also want a quitclaim deed. This article attempts to clear up this confusion by explaining the differences in terminology and deed titles. Most Deeds are Named After Their Warranty of Title With few exceptions, deeds are most … [Read more...]
What Type of Deed Should You Use to Transfer Property to Your Living Trust?
A living trust is a popular estate planning tool designed to avoid probate. Because a living trust only governs property transferred into the trust, it will only avoid probate for property that you transfer to the trust. Trust funding is the process of transferring property from your name, individually, into the name of your trust so that the property avoids probate at your death. To transfer real estate into a living trust, you need a deed for each parcel of real estate that you want to … [Read more...]
Creditor Claims Create Traps for Homeowners Using California Transfer-on-Death Deeds
A California Revocable Transfer-On-Death Deed form (TOD Deed) is a special form of deed that allows a California property owner to transfer property at death while retaining complete control over the property during life. The TOD Deed works like a beneficiary designation on a bank account. When the original owner dies, the property passes automatically to the beneficiaries designated on the deed. There is no need to probate the deceased owner’s estate. Although TOD Deeds are relatively new in … [Read more...]
Commission Issues Guidance on Recording California Transfer-on-Death Deeds
The California Law Revision Commission has issued recommendations and important guidance regarding the use Revocable Transfer-On-Death Deed Forms (TOD Deeds) in California. Although the California Law Revision Commission first recommended TOD Deeds in 2006, the California legislature did not authorize them until January 1, 2016. Just after the one-year anniversary of the new TOD Deed law, the Commission issued Memorandum 2017-6 on January 9, 2017. Background: The Importance of Title … [Read more...]
California Now Allows Revocable Transfer-On-Death Deeds
Effective January 1, 2016, California property owners may now use Revocable Transfer-On-Death Deeds to avoid probate of real estate in California. This relatively new deed form provides a simple way to transfer California real estate at death without having to go through California probate. It also avoids the expense and complication of a living trust for simple estates. With this new law, California joins a growing number of U.S. states that allow property to be transferred by TOD deed at … [Read more...]