California TOD Deeds Now Require Witnessing

By , Attorney

California passed new legislation, effective January 1, 2022, requiring that transfer on death (TOD) deeds be signed by two adult witnesses. The witnesses cannot also be named as beneficiaries (recipients of the property upon the owner's death) on the deed; you must find other people to act as your witnesses. So now, to finalize a transfer on death deed in California, you must:

  • sign the deed
  • have two adult witnesses (who are not beneficiaries) sign the deed
  • have your signature notarized, and
  • record (file) the deed in the county clerk's office within 60 days of notarization.

If you miss any one of these steps, the TOD deed won't be valid.

Learn more: Transfer-on-Death Deeds: An Overview.

Effective date: January 1, 2022.