My Account Deeds.com Real Estate Deeds

California Transfer on Death Affidavit

Using an Affidavit of Death to Claim Real Estate from a California Transfer on Death Deed

Transfer on death deeds allow individual landowners to transfer their real estate when they die, without a will or the need for probate distribution. The transferor simply executes a TODD form, then records it during the course of his/her natural life, and within 60 days of the signing date (5626(a)). Unlike grant deeds or quitclaim deeds, the owner continues to hold title to the property when a transfer on death deed is recorded (5650). As such, TODDs are exempt from transfer taxes and the Preliminary Change of Ownership Report (PCOR).

What happens, then, when the owner dies? Section 5680 defines the process for switching the title over to the beneficiary. The beneficiary may establish the fact of the transferor's death under the procedure provided in California Probate Code Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 210) of Part 4 of Division 2. The first step is obtaining a certified copy of the death certificate. Then research the recording information from the transfer on death deed identifying the beneficiary. Complete an affidavit of death and sign it in front of a notary. Finally, file the affidavit, along with the copy of the death certificate, in the recording office for the county where the property is situated. Note that this act transfers title to the beneficiary, so it also requires the PCOR and any associated taxes and fees.

Beneficiaries take title to the property under the rules set out at section 5652. Be aware that any associated debts, obligations, or agreements in place when the owner died follow the real estate to the beneficiaries. In addition, the title transfers without warranty, so the beneficiaries might find themselves liable for future claims against the property. For these reasons, among others, some beneficiaries might wish to disclaim the gift (5652(a)(1)).

In general, transferring title to the beneficiary of a transfer on death deed is a simple process. Even so, complications may arise. Contact an attorney for complex situations or with any questions.

Deeds.com California Transfer on Death Affidavit Forms Have Been Updated as Recently as Thursday September 12, 2019

4.7 out of 5 (849 Reviews)

What others like you are saying:


Donna J. said: what do you do with it once filled out. doesn't tell you

Reply from Staff: Generally, once the documents are completed and executed they are recorded with the recorder where the property is located.


Michael R. said: This was just TOO easy to do and use!! Thank you so much for your service!

Reply from Staff: Thank you!


HELEN F. said: Was straight to the point... Easy to read instructions... smooth process

Reply from Staff: Thank you for your feedback. We really appreciate it. Have a great day!


catherine f. said: Easy! 5 stars

Reply from Staff: We appreciate your business and value your feedback. Thank you. Have a wonderful day!


harriet l. said: Worked very smoothly and got the job done

Reply from Staff: Thank you for your feedback. We really appreciate it. Have a great day!


Timothy G. said: Downloadable documents, instructions and a completed sample form were just what I needed. Very pleased and easy to use. Deeds.com will be my first stop for any future documents I may need. Thank you!

Reply from Staff: We appreciate your business and value your feedback. Thank you. Have a wonderful day!


California Transfer on Death Affidavit Form