Back to the Learning Center

By: Scott Grossman on August 18th, 2017

California Commission Recommends Transfer on Death Deeds

In several jurisdictions, people can easily arrange for the transfer of their real estate to another party following their death without requiring a probate administration or the use of a revocable trust. The method for doing so involves the use of a revocable transfer on a death deed. California’s Law Revision Commission has studied transfer on death deeds for several years and concluded that their use in the state would be beneficial.

Findings of the Law Revision Commission Regarding Transfer on Death Deeds

In 2006, the Commission released its findings regarding the use of revocable transfer on death deeds. The following is a brief summary of these findings:

Existing methods for transferring real estate after a person’s death do not serve the same function as a transfer on a death deed.


  • Other jurisdictions allow the use of revocable transfers on death deeds. In those jurisdictions, the reports are that their ex
  • experience with this method for property transfer has been favorable.
  • After evaluating both the advantages and the disadvantages of allowing for transfer on death deeds in California, the benefits outweigh the negatives.


Assembly Bill 139 would implement the Commission’s recommendation that revocable transfer on death deeds be allowed in California. A recent amendment to the bill was made in July. The Senate Committee on Judiciary approved the bill with the amendments. The bill is now pending before the Senate Committee on Appropriations. The Commission also needs to decide whether to assent to the amendments made to the bill.

Like many other large assets, real estate can often be the subject of issues during an estate administration. The transfer on death deed law aims to allow for an easier and more efficient means for transferring ownership of this asset after a person dies. Hopefully, this would also help to prevent disputes. Assisting with an estate administration in California? We encourage you to contact us today at (888) 443-6590 for more information.

Related Links: