California begins five year test run for revocable transfer on death deeds as an alternative to probate, trusts and joint tenancy. Deed and Record prepares and records revocable, transfer on death deeds.
California’s legislature passed a new law for a five year test of “revocable transfer on death deeds” for real property. A real property owner using a revocable transfer on death deed maintains control, avoids probate and saves money. Deed and Record begins new service to prepare and record revocable transfer on death deeds.
A revocable transfer on death deed can only affect property owned at death. On death of the real property owner the deed transfers ownership without probate to the beneficiaries named on the deed. A revocable transfer on death deed is cheaper than a trust and does not surrender ownership and control as required in joint tenancy.
Revocable transfer on death deeds are for one to four family residences and condominium units but cannot be used for business property. These deeds can be revoked as long as the real property owner is alive and mentally competent.
But theses deeds cannot be revoked by a Will. Instead there are three ways to revoke a recorded revocable transfer on death deed: (1) Create and record a revocation deed. (2) Create, and record a new revocable transfer on death deed. (3) Sell or give away the property, or transfer the property into a trust.
A revocable transfer on death deed is not effective unless the transferor signs and dates the deed and acknowledges the deed before a notary public. A revocable transfer on death deed must be recorded within 60 days of the date it was executed. If the revocable transfer on death deed is not recorded on the 61st day it is not valid.
A revocable transfer on death deed is also not valid for real property held in joint tenancy or as community property with right of survivorship. The real property owner’s interest in the property is governed by the right of survivorship and not by the revocable transfer on death deed. If there is any other type of co-owner of the real property the revocable transfer on death deed affects only the person executing the revocable transfer on death deed ownership interests and not the other co-owner’s interest.
If all beneficiaries die before real property owner dies, the revocable transfer on death deed has no effect. If a beneficiary dies before the property owner, but other beneficiaries survive, the share of the deceased beneficiary will be divided equally between the surviving beneficiaries.
Revocable transfer on death deeds do not change ownership and do not require a documentary transfer tax or filing of a preliminary change of ownership report. A revocable transfer on death deed has no effect on property taxes and does not affect eligibility for Medi-Cal. But on death of the owner a change in ownership occurs and property tax and estate tax law apply. Also on death the real property may be liable for reimbursement for State Medi-Cal expenditures, if any.
California’s legislature passed a new law for a 5 year test of revocable, transfer on death deeds for real property. The law ends on January 1, 2021 and revocable transfer on death deed cannot be executed after this date unless the California legislature continues the law. Revocable transfer on death deed executed before January 1, 2021 will remain valid after January 1, 2021.
Mark W. Bidwell, Attorney at Law and Certified Public Accountant, Inactive, is licensed to practice law in California. His office is located at 18831 Von Karman Avenue, Suite 270, Irvine, California 92612. Phone number is 949-474-0961. Mr. Bidwell markets through websites, http://www.BidwellLaw.com and http://www.DeedandRecord.com.
Deed and Record is an online service to prepare affidavits and quit claim deeds for real property transfers into or out of trusts, remove former spouses and gifting. The online service records deeds it has prepared with the appropriate government agency. For more information call 949-474-0961.