Common questions about the use of a Transfer on Death Deed (part 1)
March 19, 2022
When you die, the identified property will transfer to your named beneficiary without probate. The TOD deed has no effect until you die. You can revoke it at any time.
Can I use this deed to transfer business property? This deed can only be used to transfer (1) a parcel of property that contains one to four residential dwelling units, (2) a condominium unit, or (3) a parcel of agricultural land of 40 acres or less, which contains a single-family residence.
How do I use the TOD deed? Complete the form. Have it notarized. RECORD the form in the county where the property is located. The form MUST be recorded on or before 60 days after the date you sign it or the deed has no effect.
Is the "legal description" of the property necessary? Yes.
How do I find the "legal description" of the property? This information may be on the deed you received when you became an owner of the property. This information may also be available in the office of the county recorder for the county where the property is located. If you are not absolutely sure, consult an attorney.
How do I "record" the form? Take the completed and notarized form to the county recorder for the county in which the property is located. Follow the instructions given by the county recorder to make the form part of the official property records.
What if I share ownership of the property? This form only transfers YOUR share of the property. If a co-owner also wants to name a TOD beneficiary, that co-owner must complete and RECORD a separate form.
Can I revoke the TOD deed if I change my mind? Yes. You may revoke the TOD deed at anytime. No one, including your beneficiary, can prevent you from revoking the deed.
How do I revoke the TOD deed? There are three ways to revoke a recorded TOD deed: (1) Complete, have notarized, and RECORD a revocation form. (2) Create, have notarized and RECORD a new TOD deed. (3) Sell or give away the property, or transfer it to a trust, before your death and RECORD the deed. A TOD deed can only affect property that you own when you die. A TOD deed cannot be revoked by will.
Can I revoke a TOD deed by creating a new document that disposes of the property (for example, by creating a new TOD deed or by assigning the property to a trust)? Yes, but only if the new document is RECORDED. To avoid any doubt, you may wish to RECORD a TOD deed revocation form before creating the new instrument. A TOD deed cannot be revoked by will, or by purporting to leave the subject property to anyone via will.
Diana Wade is a Legal Document Assistant. She can be reached at (661) 821-0494 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Diana is not an attorney; she can only provide self-help services at your specific direction. Kern County LDA #185, ex 4/11/23.