Common questions about the use of a Transfer on Death Deed (part 2)
Ask the LDA
April 2, 2022
If I sell or give away the property described in a TOD deed, what happens when I die? If the deed or other document used to transfer your property is RECORDED before your death, the TOD deed will have no effect. If the transfer document is not RECORDED before your death, the TOD deed will take effect.
I am being pressured to complete this form. What should I do? Do NOT complete this form unless you freely choose to do so. If you are being pressured to dispose of your property in a way that you do not want, you may want to alert a family member, friend, the district attorney or a senior service agency.
Do I need to tell my beneficiary about the TOD deed? No. But secrecy can cause later complications and might make it easier for others to commit fraud.
What does my beneficiary need to do when I die? Your beneficiary must RECORD evidence of your death (Prob. Code § 210), and file a change in ownership notice (Rev. & Tax. Code § 480). If you received Medi-Cal benefits, your beneficiary must notify the State Department of Health Care Services of your death and provide a copy of your death certificate (Prob. Code § 215).
What if I name more than one beneficiary? Your beneficiaries will become co-owners in equal shares as tenants in common. If you want a different result, you should not use this form.
How do I name beneficiaries? You MUST name your beneficiaries individually, using each beneficiary's FULL name. You MAY NOT use general terms to describe beneficiaries, such as "my children." For each beneficiary that you name, you should briefly state that person's relationship to you (for example, my spouse, my son, my daughter, my friend, etc.).
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.