Understanding California’s Revocable Transfer on Death Deed

California Revocable Transfer on Death Deed – How it Works

1. Makes a donative transfer of real property to a named beneficiary

2.  Operates on the transferor’s death

3.  Remains revocable until the transferor’s death

4.  Avoids Probate on Subject Real Property Residence

California Revocable Transfer on Death Deed – Limits on Types of Properties

  • Residential 1-4 properties
  • Condominium units and
  • Single tract agricultural land (40 acres or less) improved with a single-family residence

California Revocable Transfer on Death Deed – Requirements to Qualify

1. The revocable Transfer on Death deed must be signed, dated and acknowledged before a notary public

2. Must be Recorded within Sixty (60) Days after Execution

During the owner’s life, the deed does not affect his or her ownership rights and, specifically, is considered part of the owner’s estate for the purpose of Medi-Cal eligibility and reimbursement.

California Revocable Transfer on Death Deed – How to Revoke

1. Complete, have notarized and record a revocation form (the law creates a statutory form for this purpose)

2. Create, have notarized, and record a new Transfer on Death deed; and

3. Sell or give away the property, or transfer it to a trust, before your death and record the deed.

4. A Transfer on Death cannot be revoked by will

5. The law may void a revocable Transfer on Death deed if, at the time of the owner’s death, the property is titled in Joint Tenancy or as community property with right of survivorship

California Revocable Transfer on Death Deed – How to Challenge

  • Challenge must be filed within 120 Days of Decedent’s Death
  • Lis Pendens must be filed within 120 Days of Decedent’s Death
  • Hearing must be held to determine validity of contest
  • It becomes Difficult to Sell RE subject to a Transfer on Death Deed within 120 days because a challenge can be filed at any time
  • Trusts and Wills can have NO CONTEST Clauses but not a Transfer on Death Deed