California and Transfer-on-Death Deeds

Professor Beyer of the Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog has a very in-depth article on the current status and history of California’s struggle with transfer-on-death deeds: “California may go forward with transfer on death deeds.”

In 2004, Assemblyman Chuck Devore introduced a bill that would allow Californians to transfer real property upon death without resorting to legal services and completely avoiding the probate process. Assemblyman Devore introduced this bill after meeting with Mary Pat Toups, 79, a pro bono attorney and a grandmother. Toups has spent $30,000 of her own money attending hearings, lobbying officials, and even launching her own website – www.transfer-on-death-deeds.com to support the bill.

In 2004 the California Bar’s Trusts and Estates Section persuaded the Assembly Judiciary Committee to downgrade this bill into a study bill. However in June, the Assembly approved AB 250 after adding explanatory language and consumer warnings on the back of the form.

A few states already have special provisions dealing with transfer on death deeds, Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, and Wisconsin. And we love them hear in Ohio.

According to Professor Beyer the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws is drafting a Uniform TOD for Real Property Act.

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