Assembly Bill 139 becomes effective on January 1, 2016. AB 139 provides for the automatic transfer of ownership of residential real property upon the death of the owner without the need for probate. The new law requires the recording of a statutory form document entitled "Simple Revocable Transfer on Death (TOD) Deed" ("TOD")."
Residential property is defined as 1-4 residential units, a condominium or agricultural land improved with a residence and consisting of 40 acres or less.
The TOD is effective for any transferor who dies on or after January 1, 2016, whether or not the TOD was executed or recorded before, on or after January 1, 2016. The law is scheduled to remain in effect until January 1, 2021. No TOD may be executed or recorded after that date.
An Affidavit of Death or other evidence of death is recorded when the owner dies, transferring the ownership to the named beneficiary. A Change in Ownership Notice must accompany the evidence of death. An affidavit will be deemed to be void if the owner of the property holds title in joint tenancy or as community property with right of survivorship at the time of death. The TOD may be revoked by recording the statutory form "Revocation of Revocable Transfer on Death (TOD) Deed."
Any recorded TOD or Revocation will be reflected in the Preliminary Report.
A Simple Revocable Transfer on Death (TOD) Deed pursuant to California Probate Code Section 5642 dated ________ recorded______ as instrument number __________ of Official Records.
California and Federal Estate Taxes are unaffected by this new law. Please continue to follow existing guidelines governing California and Federal Estate Taxes.
A valid TOD must meet the following requirements:
NOTE: The TOD will be deemed to be void if the owner of the property holds title in joint tenancy or as community property with right of survivorship at the time of death.
Evidence of death of the owner (transferor) must be recorded in order to vest title in the beneficiary(ies) shown on the TOD.
Evidence of death may be in the form of an affidavit or declaration and should be reviewed by an underwriter prior to vesting title in the beneficiary(ies).
The evidence of death must include all of the following:
Note: Any recorded affidavit of death will require a certified copy of the death certificate.