California’s Transfer on Death Deed: What You Need to Know

California’s Transfer on Death Deed: What You Need to Know

What You Need to Know about California’s Revocable Transfer on Death Deed

On January 1, 2016, Assembly Bill 139 (A.B. 139) went into effect in California, allowing Californians a new alternative to keep their homes out of probate. The revocable transfer on death deed, colloquially referred to as “poor man’s trusts,” is an inexpensive and quick way of effecting a transfer of real property to a named beneficiary (or beneficiaries) upon the death of the real property owner.  

Up until January 2016, the most commonly used ways to transfer real property upon death was through 3 methods:

1. Ownership of property in joint tenancy or community property with right of survivorship.

2. A living trust.

3. A will.

The transfer on death deed is considered a nonprobate method for transferring property to a named beneficiary.