CLTA Comments on Revocable Transfer on Death Deed
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
The California Land Title Association (“CLTA”) recently provided comments to the California Law Revision Commission regarding the revocable transfer on death deed (“RTODD”) law. The law, which was enacted in 2015, has a sunset provision that will cause it to expire in 2021 unless extended through subsequent legislation.
The CLTA expressed its view that the RTODDs are not working as intended, and instead are being improperly executed and recorded, and are creating problems relying on the deeds. Furthermore, the title industry continues to be concerned with the potential for elder abuse, which it sees as outweighing any supposed benefits of the RTODDs.
One significant issue surrounds the question of whether the commonly asked questions component of RTODDs – which the title industry views as a safeguard against elder abuse – must be recorded along with the deed. The CLTA believes that recording the commonly asked questions component can at the least mitigate the potential for fraud and abuse, as they provide a minimum of assurance that the grantor was fully informed about how the deed will be used. Yet, it has been common for persons submitting the RTODD for recording to fail to attach the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) as required by law.
In addition to, the CLTA in its comments to the CLRC cited the comments submitted earlier to the CLRC by the Executive Committee of the Trusts and Estate Section of the California State Bar (“TEXCOM”), which state that “consideration should be given to repealing the RTODD or allowing it to be automatically repealed effective on January 1, 2021”. The CLTA informed the Law Revision Commission that it strongly agreed with that position based on the flawed nature of the RTODD.