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News & Press: CLTA News

CLTA Addresses Issues with Transfer on Death Deed and Trusts

Tuesday, February 19, 2019  
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The CLTA responded to the California Law Revision Commission’s (CLRC) request for further comment on the issue of transfer on death deeds (TODDs) as the Commission continues to conduct a study of the estate planning tool.

Specifically, CLTA provided comments to the CLRC on the naming of trusts or trustees of a trust as a beneficiary of a TODD. The CLTA pointed out that trusts are not legal entities that can hold title to property under California law and that naming a trust, or even a trustee, tends to hide the real beneficiary and can shield elder abuse and undue influence in an estate plan. The CLTA remains concerned that a do-it-yourself estate planning method that combines a TODD and a trust will only lead to more complications, rather than simplifying the process of transferring title after death. Examples of these potential complications include: a settlor revoking a trust after executing a TODD naming the trust as the beneficiary, or a trustee dying, becoming incapacitated, or otherwise refusing to act. The CLTA appreciates being given the opportunity to provide comments to the CLRC on behalf of the title industry in an effort to see if the TODD can be improved without creating more problems for seniors or other vulnerable individuals seeking to use the deeds for estate planning purposes.

California Land Title Association


1215 K Street #1816 Sacramento, CA 95814-3905
Email: mail@clta.org  |  Phone: 916-444-2647  |   Fax: 916-444-2851