In the article "State ushers in refreshingly modest law," The San Diego Times-Union reported on a recently enacted law dealing with estate planning—a law that is the opposite of a lot of political grandstanding that takes place in the state legislature. As a far more modest law, AB 139, authored by Assemblyman Mike Gatto and signed by the governor, will actually help many Californians.
The measure, which passed unanimously in both the Assembly and the Senate creates "a new, non-probate method for conveying real property upon death through a revocable transfer upon death deed." It's a simple way for people to transfer their home (or one-to-four-unit investment properties) upon their death – without having to pay for a living trust or having it all sorted out in probate court.
California had provided simple "payable upon death" forms for many valuable items, such as automobiles and stock accounts, but not for real property. Creating a trust has many advantages, but legislators realized that without a trust, the estate would be handled in a potentially lengthy probate process.
The new one-page form requires the parcel number, the name of the owner (grantor), and the people who inherit the property and their relationship to the owner. It must be notarized. And the law contains a clause that deals with potential coercion. That's all.
The new law is expected to be a big benefit to senior citizens whose estate consists primarily (or even exclusively) of the family home.
Reference: San Diego Times-Union (January 18, 2016) "State ushers in refreshingly modest law"