2010 California Code
Part 3. Uniform Tod Security Registration Act
5500. (a) This part shall be known as and may be cited as the Uniform TOD Security Registration Act. (b) This part shall be liberally construed and applied to promote its underlying purposes and policy. (c) The underlying purposes and policy of this act are to (1) encourage development of a title form for use by individuals that is effective, without probate and estate administration, for transferring property at death in accordance with directions of a deceased owner of a security as included in the title form in which the security is held and (2) protect issuers offering and implementing the new title form. (d) Unless displaced by the particular provisions of this part, the principles of law and equity supplement its provisions. 5501. For purposes of this part: (a) "Beneficiary form" means a registration of a security that indicates the present owner of the security and the intention of the owner regarding the person who will become the owner of the security upon the death of the owner. (b) "Register," including its derivatives, means to issue a certificate showing the ownership of a certificated security or, in the case of an uncertificated security, to initiate or transfer an account showing ownership of securities. (c) "Registering entity" means a person who originates or transfers a security title by registration, and includes a broker maintaining security accounts for customers and a transfer agent or other person acting for or as an issuer of securities. (d) "Security" means a share, participation, or other interest in property, in a business, or in an obligation of an enterprise or other issuer, and includes a certificated security, an uncertificated security, and a security account. (e) (1) "Security account" means any of the following: (A) A reinvestment account associated with a security, a securities account with a broker, a cash balance in a brokerage account, cash, cash equivalents, interest, earnings, or dividends earned or declared on a security in an account, a reinvestment account, or a brokerage account, whether or not credited to the account before the owner's death. (B) An investment management or custody account with a trust company or a trust department of a bank with trust powers, including the securities in the account, the cash balance in the account, and cash equivalents, and interest, earnings, or dividends earned or declared on a security in the account, whether or not credited to the account before the owner's death. (C) A cash balance or other property held for or due to the owner of a security as a replacement for or product of an account security, whether or not credited to the account before the owner's death. (2) For the purposes of this subdivision, "cash equivalent" means an investment that is easily converted into cash, including, treasury bills, treasury notes, money market funds, savings bonds, short-term instruments, and short-term obligations. (f) This section may not be construed to govern cash equivalents in multiple-party accounts that are governed by the California Multiple-Party Accounts Law, Part 2 (commencing with Section 5100). 5502. Only individuals whose registration of a security shows sole ownership by one individual or multiple ownership by two or more individuals with right of survivorship, rather than as tenants in common, may obtain registration in beneficiary form. Multiple owners of a security registered in beneficiary form hold as joint tenants with right of survivorship, as tenants by the entireties, or as owners of community property held in survivorship form, and not as tenants in common. 5503. A security may be registered in beneficiary form if the form is authorized by this or a similar statute of the state of organization of the issuer or registering entity, the location of the registering entity's principal office, the office of its transfer agent or its office making the registration, or by this or a similar statute of the law of the state listed as the owner's address at the time of registration. A registration governed by the law of a jurisdiction in which this or similar legislation is not in force or was not in force when a registration in beneficiary form was made is nevertheless presumed to be valid and authorized as a matter of contract law. 5504. A security, whether evidenced by certificate or account, is registered in beneficiary form when the registration includes a designation of a beneficiary to take the ownership at the death of the owner or the deaths of all multiple owners. 5505. Registration in beneficiary form may be shown by the words "transfer on death" or the abbreviation "TOD," or by the words "pay on death" or the abbreviation "POD," after the name of the registered owner and before the name of a beneficiary. 5506. The designation of a TOD beneficiary on a registration in beneficiary form has no effect on ownership until the owner's death. A registration of a security in beneficiary form may be canceled or changed at any time by the sole owner or all then surviving owners without the consent of the beneficiary. 5507. On death of a sole owner or the last to die of all multiple owners, ownership of securities registered in beneficiary form passes to the beneficiary or beneficiaries who survive all owners. On proof of death of all owners and compliance with any applicable requirements of the registering entity, a security registered in beneficiary form may be reregistered in the name of the beneficiary or beneficiaries who survive the death of all owners. Until division of the security after the death of all owners, multiple beneficiaries surviving the death of all owners hold their interests as tenants in common. If no beneficiary survives the death of all owners, the security belongs to the estate of the deceased sole owner or the estate of the last to die of all multiple owners. 5508. (a) A registering entity is not required to offer or to accept requests for security registration in beneficiary form. If a registration in beneficiary form is offered by a registering entity, the owner requesting registration in beneficiary form assents to the protections given to the registering entity by this part. (b) By accepting a request for registration of a security in beneficiary form, the registering entity agrees that the registration will be implemented as provided in this part. (c) A registering entity is discharged from all claims to a security by the estate, creditors, heirs, or devisees of a deceased owner if it registers a transfer of the security in accordance with Section 5507 and does so in good faith reliance (1) on the registration, (2) on this part, and (3) on information provided to it by affidavit of the personal representative of the deceased owner, or by the surviving beneficiary or the surviving beneficiary's representatives, or other information available to the registering entity. The protections of this part do not extend to a reregistration or payment made after a registering entity has received written notice from any claimant to any interest in the security objecting to implementation of a registration in beneficiary form. No other notice or other information available to the registering entity shall affect its right to protection under this part. (d) The protection provided by this part to the registering entity of a security does not affect the rights of beneficiaries in disputes between themselves and other claimants to ownership of the security transferred or its value or proceeds. 5509. (a) Any transfer on death resulting from a registration in beneficiary form is effective by reason of the contract regarding the registration between the owner and the registering entity and this part and is not testamentary. (b) This part does not limit the rights of a surviving spouse or creditors of security owners against beneficiaries and other transferees under other laws of this state. 5510. (a) A registering entity offering to accept registrations in beneficiary form may establish the terms and conditions under which it will receive requests for (1) registrations in beneficiary form, and (2) implementation of registrations in beneficiary form, including requests for cancellation of previously registered TOD beneficiary designations and requests for reregistration to effect a change of beneficiary. (b) The terms and conditions established pursuant to subdivision (a) may provide for (1) proving death, (2) avoiding or resolving any problems concerning fractional shares, (3) designating primary and contingent beneficiaries, and (4) substituting a named beneficiary's descendants to take in the place of the named beneficiary in the event of the beneficiary's death. Substitution may be indicated by appending to the name of the primary beneficiary the letters LDPS, standing for "lineal descendants per stirpes." This designation substitutes a deceased beneficiary's descendants who survive the owner for a beneficiary who fails to so survive, the descendants to be identified and to share in accordance with the law of the beneficiary's domicile at the owner's death governing inheritance by descendants of an intestate. Other forms of identifying beneficiaries who are to take on one or more contingencies, and rules for providing proofs and assurances needed to satisfy reasonable concerns by registering entities regarding conditions and identities relevant to accurate implementation of registrations in beneficiary form, may be contained in a registering entity's terms and conditions. (c) The following are illustrations of registrations in beneficiary form that a registering entity may authorize: (1) Sole owner-sole beneficiary: John S. Brown TOD (or POD) John S. Brown, Jr. (2) Multiple owners-sole beneficiary: John S. Brown Mary B. Brown, JT TEN TOD John S. Brown, Jr. (3) Multiple owners-primary and secondary (substituted) beneficiaries: John S. Brown Mary B. Brown, JT TEN TOD John S. Brown, Jr. SUB BENE Peter Q. Brown , or John S. Brown Mary B. Brown JT TEN TOD John S. Brown Jr. LDPS. 5511. Nothing in this part alters the community character of community property or community rights in community property. This part is subject to Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 5010) of Part 1 of Division 5. 5512. This part applies to registrations of securities in beneficiary form made before, on, or after January 1, 1999, by decedents dying on or after January 1, 1999.
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