A bill that would allow homeowners to specify who they want their houses to go to once they are deceased was passed on March 17 by the California Assembly Judiciary Committee. The vote was unanimous with a count of 9-0.
The bill, which is known as Assembly Bill 139, was spearheaded by Assemblyman Mike Gatto, a Democrat from Glendale. It was created in an effort to help reduce the amount of stress placed on grieving families, who up until now have had to go through the probate process to assist in transferring the deed of a house over to family members after a loved one has died.
The Assemblyman stated that he believes it is both illogical and unfair to force a family to have to go through probate to inherit a house, yet they can simply have a retirement account or a car passed on to them with relative ease. He feels that providing Californians with the access to what is known as a "Revocable Transfer on Death Dead" would help people avoid some of the hassle that comes with trying to settle the affairs of a loved one as well as reduce the amount of probate costs.
The legislation for the bill passed after receiving a recommendation through the California Law Revision Commission. The Commission looked at how other states have been handling similar measures and how the process provided a more streamlined plan for those who are looking ahead to the settling of their estate.
Individuals who are interested in learning more about estate planning may find it beneficial to discuss their options with an experienced probate attorney.
Source: California Newswire, "California Bill to Improve Probate Process, Cut Fees for Families, Passes Judiciary Committee – AB 139" Christopher Simmons, Mar. 18, 2015