December 2015 Archives

New Way to Hold Title to Your Home

There is a new way to hold title to real property in California, effective January 1, 2016. A "Revocable Transfer On Death Deed" is just what it sounds like. It is a deed recorded in the official county real estate records, which says who is going to be the owner after the current owner dies. It is revocable. The current owner can still sell the property, record a substitute TOD deed designating someone else as the successor owner, or record a Revocation Deed canceling the TOD deed. It is a way to avoid probate when the property owner dies that is less expensive than hiring an attorney to write a revocable living trust and unlike a joint tenancy deed (which also avoids probate) still allows the property owner to change his or her mind.