A will is the most common way to transfer real property upon a person’s death, but this does not avoid probate. Probate can be expensive with attorney fees and court costs and can take up to a year to complete.  The way to keep all of your assets out of probate is to set up a trust. Yet for many whose estate consists primarily of the home, the money to establish a trust may be unaffordable.

Californians have an easy remedy to keep their home out of probate with the passage of Assembly Bill 139 which became effective in 2016, creates the Revocable Transfer on Death (TOD) Deed which would transfer to a named beneficiary 1 to 4 unit residential real properties on the death of its owner without a probate proceeding or a living trust.

The Revocable Transfer on Death deed is the most simple and inexpensive transfer mechanism on the market today. Furthermore, it may be the only tool available to unmarried homeowners who wish to leave their property to a lifelong partner, family member, friend, or loved one upon death. .

The deed has no effect until a person dies, and can be revoked at any time. The revocable TOD deed must be signed, dated and acknowledged before a notary public, and must be recorded at the County within 60 days after execution.

 

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