Code of the District of Columbia

Chapter 6. Nonprobate Transfers on Death; Uniform Law.


Subchapter I. Provisions Relating to Effect of Death.

§ 19–601.01. Nonprobate transfers on death.

(a) A provision for a nonprobate transfer on death in an insurance policy, contract of employment, bond, mortgage, promissory note, certificated or uncertificated security, account agreement, custodial agreement, deposit agreement, compensation plan, pension plan, individual retirement plan, employee benefit plan, trust, conveyance, deed of gift, marital property agreement, or other written instrument of a similar nature is nontestamentary. This section includes a written provision that:

(1) Money or other benefits due to, controlled by, or owned by a decedent before death must be paid after the decedent’s death to a person whom the decedent designates, either in the instrument or in a separate writing, including a will, executed either before or at the same time as the instrument, or later;

(2) Money due or to become due under the instrument ceases to be payable in the event of death of the promisee or the promisor before payment or demand; or

(3) Any property controlled by or owned by the decedent before death which is the subject of the instrument passes to a person the decedent designates, either in the instrument or in a separate writing, including a will, executed either before or at the same time as the instrument, or later.

(b) This section does not limit rights of creditors under other laws of the District.

(c) This section does not determine the validity of, or priority among, any inconsistent provisions in documents specified in subsection (a) of this section.


(Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-292, § 302(b), 48 DCR 2087.)

Editor's Notes

Uniform Law: This section is based upon § 101 of the Uniform Nonprobate Transfers on Death Act (1991 Act).


§ 19–601.02. Liability of nonprobate transferees for creditor claims and statutory allowances.

(a) For the purposes of this section, the term “nonprobate transfer” means a valid transfer effective at death, other than a transfer of a survivorship interest in a joint tenancy of real estate, by a transferor whose last domicile was in the District to the extent that the transferor immediately before death had power, acting alone, to prevent the transfer by revocation or withdrawal and instead to use the property for the benefit of the transferor or apply it to discharge claims against the transferor’s probate estate.

(b) Except as otherwise provided by statute, a transferee of a nonprobate transfer is subject to liability to any probate estate of the decedent for allowed claims against decedent’s probate for estate and statutory allowances to the decedent’s spouse and children to the extent the estate is insufficient to satisfy those claims and allowances. The liability of a nonprobate transferee may not exceed the value of nonprobate transfers received or controlled by that transferee.

(c) Nonprobate transferees are liable for the insufficiency described in subsection (b) of this section in the following order of priority:

(1) A transferee designated in the decedent’s will or any other governing instrument, as provided in the instrument;

(2) The trustee of a trust serving as the principal nonprobate instrument in the decedent’s estate plan as shown by its designation as devisee of the decedent’s residuary estate or by other facts or circumstances, to the extent of the value of the nonprobate transfer received or controlled; and

(3) Other nonprobate transferees, in proportion to the values received.

(d) Unless otherwise provided by the trust instrument, interests of beneficiaries in all trusts incurring liabilities under this section abate as necessary to satisfy the liability, as if all of the trust instruments were a single will and the interests were devises under it.

(e) A provision made in one instrument may direct the apportionment of the liability among the nonprobate transferees taking under that or any other governing instrument. If a provision in one instrument conflicts with a provision in another, the later one prevails.

(f) Upon due notice to a nonprobate transferee, the liability imposed by this section is enforceable in proceedings in the District, whether or not the transferee is located in the District.

(g) A proceeding under this section may not be commenced unless the personal representative of the decedent’s estate has received a written demand for the proceeding from the surviving spouse or a child, to the extent that statutory allowances are affected, or a creditor. If the personal representative declines or fails to commence a proceeding after the demand, a person making the demand may commence the proceeding in the name of the decedent’s estate, at the expense of the person making the demand and not of the estate. A personal representative who declines in good faith to commence a requested proceeding incurs no personal liability for declining.

(h) A proceeding under this section must be commenced within one year after the decedent’s death, but a proceeding on behalf of a creditor whose claim was allowed after proceedings challenging disallowance of the claim may be commenced within 60 days after final allowance of the claim.

(i) Unless a written notice asserting that a decedent’s probate estate is nonexistent or insufficient to pay allowed claims and statutory allowances has been received from the decedent’s personal representative, the following rules apply:

(1) Payment or delivery of assets by a financial institution, registrar, or other obligor, to a nonprobate transferee in accordance with the terms of the governing instrument controlling the transfer releases the obligor from all claims for amounts paid or assets delivered.

(2) A trustee receiving or controlling a nonprobate transfer is released from liability under this section with respect to any assets distributed to the trust’s beneficiaries. Each beneficiary, to the extent of the distribution received, becomes liable for the amount of the trustee’s liability attributable to assets received by the beneficiary.


(Mar. 19, 2013, D.C. Law 19-230, § 3(c)(2), 59 DCR 13606.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 19-604.15.


Subchapter II. Multiple-Person Accounts.

Part A. Definitions and General Provisions.

§ 19–602.01. Definitions.

For the purposes of this subchapter, the term:

(1) “Account” means a contract of deposit between a depositor and a financial institution, and includes a checking account, savings account, certificate of deposit, and share account.

(2) “Agent” means a person authorized to make account transactions for a party.

(3) “Beneficiary” means a person named as one to whom sums on deposit in an account are payable on request after death of all parties or for whom a party is named as trustee.

(3A) “Domestic partner” shall have the same meaning as provided in § 32-701(3).

(4) “Financial institution” means an organization authorized to do business under state, District, or federal laws relating to financial institutions, and includes a bank, trust company, savings bank, building and loan association, savings and loan company or association, and credit union.

(5) “Multiple-party account” means an account payable on request to one or more of 2 or more parties, whether or not a right of survivorship is mentioned.

(6) “Party” means a person who, by the terms of an account, has a present right, subject to request, to payment from the account other than as a beneficiary or agent.

(7) “Payment” of sums on deposit includes withdrawal, payment to a party or third person pursuant to check or other request, and a pledge of sums on deposit by a party, or a set-off, reduction, or other disposition of all or part of an account pursuant to a pledge.

(8) “POD designation” means the designation of:

(A) A beneficiary in an account payable on request to one party during the party’s lifetime and on the party’s death to one or more beneficiaries, or to one or more parties during their lifetimes and on death of all of them to one or more beneficiaries; or

(B) A beneficiary in an account in the name of one or more parties as trustee for one or more beneficiaries if the relationship is established by the terms of the account and there is no subject of the trust other than the sums on deposit in the account, whether or not payment to the beneficiary is mentioned.

(9) “Receive,” as it relates to notice to a financial institution, means receipt in the office or branch office of the financial institution in which the account is established, but if the terms of the account require notice at a particular place, in the place required.

(10) “Request” means a request for payment complying with all terms of the account, including special requirements concerning necessary signatures and regulations of the financial institution; but, for purposes of this subchapter, if terms of the account condition payment on advance notice, a request for payment is treated as immediately effective and a notice of intent to withdraw is treated as a request for payment.

(11) “Sums on deposit” means the balance payable on an account, including interest and dividends earned, whether or not included in the current balance, and any deposit life insurance proceeds added to the account by reason of death of a party.

(12) “Terms of the account” includes the deposit agreement and other terms and conditions, including the form, of the contract of deposit.


(Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-292, § 302(b), 48 DCR 2087; Apr. 4, 2006, D.C. Law 16-79, § 5(p), 53 DCR 1035.)

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-79 added par. (3A).

Editor's Notes

Uniform Law: This section is based upon § 201 of the Uniform Nonprobate Transfers on Death Act (1991 Act).


§ 19–602.02. Limitation on scope of subchapter.

This subchapter does not apply to:

(1) An account established for a partnership, joint venture, or other organization for a business purpose;

(2) An account controlled by one or more persons as an agent or trustee for a corporation, unincorporated association, or charitable or civic organization; or

(3) A fiduciary or trust account in which the relationship is established other than by the terms of the account.


(Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-292, § 302(b), 48 DCR 2087.)

Editor's Notes

Uniform Law: This section is based upon § 202 of the Uniform Nonprobate Transfers on Death Act (1991 Act).


§ 19–602.03. Types of account; existing accounts.

(a) An account may be for a single party or multiple parties. A multiple-party account may be with or without a right of survivorship between the parties. Subject to section § 19-602.12(c), either a single-party account or a multiple-party account may have a POD designation, an agency designation, or both.

(b) An account established before, on, or after the effective date of this chapter [April 27, 2001], whether in the form prescribed in section 19-602.04 or in any other form, is either a single-party account or a multiple-party account, with or without right of survivorship, and with or without a POD designation or an agency designation, within the meaning of this subchapter, and is governed by this subchapter.


(Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-292, § 302(b), 48 DCR 2087.)

Editor's Notes

Uniform Law: This section is based upon § 203 of the Uniform Nonprobate Transfers on Death Act (1991 Act).


§ 19–602.04. Forms.

(a) A contract of deposit that contains provisions in substantially the following form establishes the type of account provided, and the account is governed by the provisions of this subchapter applicable to an account of that type:

“UNIFORM SINGLE-OR MULTIPLE-PARTY ACCOUNT FORM

“PARTIES [Name one or more parties]: ________________

“OWNERSHIP [Select one and initial]:

“________ SINGLE-PARTY ACCOUNT

“________ MULTIPLE-PARTY ACCOUNT

“Parties own account in proportion to net contributions unless there is clear and convincing evidence of a different intent.

“RIGHTS AT DEATH [Select one and initial]:

“________ SINGLE-PARTY ACCOUNT

“At death of party, ownership passes as part of party’s estate.

“________ SINGLE-PARTY ACCOUNT WITH POD (PAY ON DEATH) DESIGNATION

“[Name one or more beneficiaries]:

“At death of party, ownership passes to POD beneficiaries and is not part of party’s estate.

“________ MULTIPLE-PARTY ACCOUNT WITH RIGHT OF SURVIVORSHIP

“At death of party, ownership passes to surviving parties.

“________ MULTIPLE-PARTY ACCOUNT WITH RIGHT OF SURVIVORSHIP AND POD (PAY ON DEATH) DESIGNATION

“[Name one or more beneficiaries]: ________________

“At death of last surviving party, ownership passes to POD beneficiaries and is not part of last surviving party’s estate.

“________ MULTIPLE-PARTY ACCOUNT WITHOUT RIGHT OF SURVIVORSHIP

“At death of party, deceased party’s ownership passes as part of deceased party’s estate. AGENCY (POWER OF ATTORNEY) DESIGNATION [Optional]

“Agents may make account transactions for parties but have no ownership or rights at death unless named as POD beneficiaries.

“[To add agency designation to account, name one or more agents]:

“________________

“[Select one and initial]:

“________ AGENCY DESIGNATION SURVIVES DISABILITY OR INCAPACITY OF PARTIES

“________ AGENCY DESIGNATION TERMINATES ON DISABILITY OR INCAPACITY OF PARTIES”

(b) A contract of deposit that does not contain provisions in substantially the form provided in subsection (a) of this section is governed by the provisions of this subchapter applicable to the type of account that most nearly conforms to the depositor’s intent.


(Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-292, § 302(b), 48 DCR 2087.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 19-602.03.

Editor's Notes

Uniform Law: This section is based upon § 204 of the Uniform Nonprobate Transfers on Death Act (1991 Act).


§ 19–602.05. Designation of agent.

(a) By a writing signed by all parties, the parties may designate as agent of all parties on an account a person other than a party.

(b) Unless the terms of an agency designation provide that the authority of the agent terminates on disability or incapacity of a party, the agent’s authority survives disability and incapacity. The agent may act for an incapacitated party or a party with a disability until the authority of the agent is terminated.

(c) Death of the sole party or last surviving party terminates the authority of an agent.


(Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-292, § 302(b), 48 DCR 2087; Apr. 24, 2007, D.C. Law 16-305, § 33(a), 53 DCR 6198.)

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-305, in subsec. (b), substituted “an incapacitated party or a party with a disability” for “a disabled or incapacitated party”.

Editor's Notes

Uniform Law: This section is based upon § 205 of the Uniform Nonprobate Transfers on Death Act (1991 Act).


§ 19–602.06. Applicability of subchapter.

The provisions of part B concerning beneficial ownership as between parties or as between parties and beneficiaries apply only to controversies between those persons and their creditors and other successors, and do not apply to the right of those persons to payment as determined by the terms of the account. Part C governs the liability and set-off rights of financial institutions that make payments pursuant to it.


(Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-292, § 302(b), 48 DCR 2087.)

Editor's Notes

Uniform Law: This section is based upon § 206 of the Uniform Nonprobate Transfers on Death Act (1991 Act).


Part B. Ownership as Between Parties and Others.

§ 19–602.11. Ownership during lifetime.

(a) For the purposes of this section, the term “net contribution” of a party means the sum of all deposits to an account made by or for the party, less all payments from the account made to or for the party which have not been paid to or applied to the use of another party and a proportionate share of any charges deducted from the account, plus a proportionate share of any interest or dividends earned, whether or not included in the current balance. The term “net contribution” includes deposit life insurance proceeds added to the account by reason of death of the party whose net contribution is in question.

(b) During the lifetime of all parties, an account belongs to the parties in proportion to the net contribution of each to the sums on deposit, unless there is clear and convincing evidence of a different intent. As between parties either married to or domestic partners of each other, in the absence of proof otherwise, the net contribution of each is presumed to be an equal amount.

(c) A beneficiary in an account having a POD designation has no right to sums on deposit during the lifetime of any party.

(d) An agent in an account with an agency designation has no beneficial right to sums on deposit.


(Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-292, § 302(b), 48 DCR 2087; Apr. 4, 2006, D.C. Law 16-79, § 5(q), 53 DCR 1035.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 19-602.12 and § 19-602.27.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-79, in subsec. (b), substituted “As between parties either married to or domestic partners of each other,” for “As between parties married to each other,”.

Editor's Notes

Uniform Law: This section is based upon § 211 of the Uniform Nonprobate Transfers on Death Act (1991 Act).


§ 19–602.12. Rights at death.

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this subchapter, on death of a party sums on deposit in a multiple-party account belong to the surviving party or parties. If 2 or more parties survive and one is the surviving spouse or surviving domestic partner of the decedent, the amount to which the decedent, immediately before death, was beneficially entitled under section 19-602.11 belongs to the surviving spouse or surviving domestic partner. If 2 or more parties survive and none is the surviving spouse or surviving domestic partner of the decedent, the amount to which the decedent, immediately before death, was beneficially entitled under section 19-602.11 belongs to the surviving parties in equal shares, and augments the proportion to which each survivor, immediately before the decedent’s death, was beneficially entitled under section 19-602.11, and the right of survivorship continues between the surviving parties.

(b) In an account with a POD designation:

(1) On death of one of 2 or more parties, the rights in sums on deposit are governed by subsection (a) of this section.

(2) On death of the sole party or the last survivor of 2 or more parties, sums on deposit belong to the surviving beneficiary or beneficiaries. If 2 or more beneficiaries survive, sums on deposit belong to them in equal and undivided shares, and there is no right of survivorship in the event of death of a beneficiary thereafter. If no beneficiary survives, sums on deposit belong to the estate of the last surviving party.

(c) Sums on deposit in a single-party account without a POD designation, or in a multiple-party account that, by the terms of the account, is without right of survivorship, are not affected by death of a party, but the amount to which the decedent, immediately before death, was beneficially entitled under section 19-602.11 is transferred as part of the decedent’s estate. A POD designation in a multiple-party account without right of survivorship is ineffective. For the purposes of this section, designation of an account as a tenancy in common establishes that the account is without right of survivorship.

(d) The ownership right of a surviving party or beneficiary, or of the decedent’s estate, in sums on deposit is subject to requests for payment made by a party before the party’s death, whether paid by the financial institution before or after death, or unpaid. The surviving party or beneficiary, or the decedent’s estate, is liable to the payee of an unpaid request for payment. The liability is limited to a proportionate share of the amount transferred under this section, to the extent necessary to discharge the request for payment.


(Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-292, § 302(b), 48 DCR 2087; Apr. 4, 2006, D.C. Law 16-79, § 5(r), 53 DCR 1035.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 19-602.03, § 19-602.13, § 19-602.14, § 19-602.15, and § 19-602.22.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-79, in subsec. (a), substituted “surviving spouse or surviving domestic partner” for “surviving spouse”.

Editor's Notes

Uniform Law: This section is based upon § 212 of the Uniform Nonprobate Transfers on Death Act (1991 Act).


§ 19–602.13. Alteration of rights.

(a) Rights at death under section 19-602.12 are determined by the type of account at the death of a party. The type of account may be altered by written notice given by a party to the financial institution to change the type of account or to stop or vary payment under the terms of the account. The notice must be signed by a party and received by the financial institution during the party’s lifetime.

(b) A right of survivorship arising from the express terms of the account, section 19-602.12, or a POD designation, may not be altered by will.


(Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-292, § 302(b), 48 DCR 2087.)

Editor's Notes

Uniform Law: This section is based upon § 213 of the Uniform Nonprobate Transfers on Death Act (1991 Act).


§ 19–602.14. Accounts and transfers nontestamentary.

A transfer resulting from the application of section 19-602.12 is effective by reason of the terms of the account involved and this subchapter and is not testamentary or subject to estate administration.


(Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-292, § 302(b), 48 DCR 2087.)

Editor's Notes

Uniform Law: This section is based upon § 214 of the Uniform Nonprobate Transfers on Death Act (1991 Act).


§ 19–602.15. Community property and tenancy by the entireties.

(a) A deposit of community property in an account does not alter the community character of the property or community rights in the property, but a right of survivorship between parties married to or domestic partners of each other arising from the express terms of the account or section 19-602.12 may not be altered by will.

(b) This subchapter does not affect the law governing tenancy by the entireties.


(Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-292, § 302(b), 48 DCR 2087; Apr. 4, 2006, D.C. Law 16-79, § 5(s), 53 DCR 1035.)

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-79, in subsec. (a), substituted “married to or domestic partners of each other” for “married to each other”.

Editor's Notes

Uniform Law: This section is based upon § 216 of the Uniform Nonprobate Transfers on Death Act (1991 Act).


Part C. Protection Of Financial Institutions.

§ 19–602.21. Authority of financial institution.

A financial institution may enter into a contract of deposit for a multiple-party account to the same extent it may enter into a contract of deposit for a single-party account, and may provide for a POD designation and an agency designation in either a single-party account or a multiple-party account. A financial institution need not inquire as to the source of a deposit to an account or as to the proposed application of a payment from an account.


(Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-292, § 302(b), 48 DCR 2087.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 26-801.

Editor's Notes

Uniform Law: This section is based upon § 221 of the Uniform Nonprobate Transfers on Death Act (1991 Act).


§ 19–602.22. Payment on multiple-party account.

A financial institution, on request, may pay sums on deposit in a multiple-party account to:

(1) One or more of the parties, whether or not another party has a disability, is incapacitated, or deceased when payment is requested and whether or not the party making the request survives another party; or

(2) The personal representative, if any, or, if there is none, the heirs or devisees of a deceased party, if proof of death is presented to the financial institution showing that the deceased party was the survivor of all other persons named on the account, either as a party or beneficiary, unless the account is without right of survivorship under section 19-602.12.


(Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-292, § 302(b), 48 DCR 2087; Apr. 24, 2007, D.C. Law 16-305, § 33(b), 53 DCR 6198.)

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-305, in par. (1), substituted “has a disability” for “is disabled”.

Editor's Notes

Uniform Law: This section is based upon § 222 of the Uniform Nonprobate Transfers on Death Act (1991 Act).


§ 19–602.23. Payment on POD designation.

A financial institution, on request, may pay sums on deposit in an account with a POD designation to:

(1) One or more of the parties, whether or not another party has a disability, is incapacitated, or deceased when the payment is requested and whether or not a party survives another party;

(2) The beneficiary or beneficiaries, if proof of death is presented to the financial institution showing that the beneficiary or beneficiaries survived all persons named as parties; or

(3) The personal representative, if any, or, if there is none, the heirs or devisees of a deceased party, if proof of death is presented to the financial institution showing that the deceased party was the survivor of all other persons named on the account, either as a party or beneficiary.


(Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-292, § 302(b), 48 DCR 2087; Apr. 24, 2007, D.C. Law 16-305, § 33(c), 53 DCR 6198.)

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-305, in par. (1), substituted “has a disability” for “is disabled”.

Editor's Notes

Uniform Law: This section is based upon § 223 of the Uniform Nonprobate Transfers on Death Act (1991 Act).


§ 19–602.24. Payment to designated agent.

A financial institution, on request of an agent under an agency designation for an account, may pay to the agent sums on deposit in the account, whether or not a party has a disability, is incapacitated, or deceased when the request is made or received, and whether or not the authority of the agent terminates on the disability or incapacity of a party.


(Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-292, § 302(b), 48 DCR 2087; Apr. 24, 2007, D.C. Law 16-305, § 33(d), 53 DCR 6198.)

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-305 substituted “has a disability, is” for “is disabled”.

Editor's Notes

Uniform Law: This section is based upon § 224 of the Uniform Nonprobate Transfers on Death Act (1991 Act).


§ 19–602.25. Payment to minor.

If a financial institution is required or permitted to make payment pursuant to this subchapter to a minor designated as a beneficiary, payment may be made pursuant to Chapter 3 of Title 21 of the District of Columbia Code.


(Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-292, § 302(b), 48 DCR 2087.)

Editor's Notes

Uniform Law: This section is based upon § 225 of the Uniform Nonprobate Transfers on Death Act (1991 Act).


§ 19–602.26. Discharge.

(a) Payment made pursuant to this subchapter in accordance with the terms of the account discharges the financial institution from all claims for amounts so paid, whether or not the payment is consistent with the beneficial ownership of the account as between parties, beneficiaries, or their successors. Payment may be made whether or not a party, beneficiary, or agent has a disability, is incapacitated, or deceased when payment is requested, received, or made.

(b) Protection under this section does not extend to payments made after a financial institution has received written notice from a party, or from the personal representative, surviving spouse, or heir or devisee of a deceased party, to the effect that payments in accordance with the terms of the account, including one having an agency designation, should not be permitted, and the financial institution has had a reasonable opportunity to act on it when the payment is made. Unless the notice is withdrawn by the person giving it, the successor of any deceased party must concur in a request for payment if the financial institution is to be protected under this section. Unless a financial institution has been served with process in an action or proceeding, no other notice or other information shown to have been available to the financial institution affects its right to protection under this section.

(c) A financial institution that receives written notice pursuant to this section or otherwise has reason to believe that a dispute exists as to the rights of the parties may refuse, without liability, to make payments in accordance with the terms of the account.

(d) Protection of a financial institution under this section does not affect the rights of parties in disputes between themselves or their successors concerning the beneficial ownership of sums on deposit in accounts or payments made from accounts.


(Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-292, § 302(b), 48 DCR 2087; Apr. 24, 2007, D.C. Law 16-305, § 33(e), 53 DCR 6198.)

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-305, in subsec. (a), substituted “has a disability, is” for “is disabled”.

Editor's Notes

Uniform Law: This section is based upon § 226 of the Uniform Nonprobate Transfers on Death Act (1991 Act).


§ 19–602.27. Set-off.

Without qualifying any other statutory right to set-off or lien and subject to any contractual provision, if a party is indebted to a financial institution, the financial institution has a right to set-off against the account. The amount of the account subject to set-off is the proportion to which the party is, or immediately before death was, beneficially entitled under section 19-602.11 or, in the absence of proof of that proportion, an equal share with all parties.


(Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-292, § 302(b), 48 DCR 2087.)

Editor's Notes

Uniform Law: This section is based upon § 227 of the Uniform Nonprobate Transfers on Death Act (1991 Act).


Subchapter III. Uniform TOD Security Registration.

§ 19–603.01. Definitions.

For the purposes of this subchapter, the term:

(1) “Beneficiary form” means a registration of a security which 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.

(2) “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.

(3) “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.

(4) “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.

(5) “Security account” means:

(A) A reinvestment account associated with a security, a securities account with a broker, a cash balance in a brokerage account, cash, 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; or

(B) 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.


(Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-292, § 302(b), 48 DCR 2087.)

Editor's Notes

Uniform Law: This section is based upon § 301 of the Uniform Nonprobate Transfers on Death Act (1991 Act).


§ 19–603.02. Registration in beneficiary form; sole or joint tenancy ownership.

Only individuals whose registration of a security shows sole ownership by one individual or multiple ownership by 2 or more 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.


(Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-292, § 302(b), 48 DCR 2087.)

Editor's Notes

Uniform Law: This section is based upon § 302 of the Uniform Nonprobate Transfers on Death Act (1991 Act).


§ 19–603.03. Registration in beneficiary form; applicable law.

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.


(Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-292, § 302(b), 48 DCR 2087.)

Editor's Notes

Uniform Law: This section is based upon § 303 of the Uniform Nonprobate Transfers on Death Act (1991 Act).


§ 19–603.04. Origination of registration in beneficiary form.

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.


(Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-292, § 302(b), 48 DCR 2087.)

Editor's Notes

Uniform Law: This section is based upon § 304 of the Uniform Nonprobate Transfers on Death Act (1991 Act).


§ 19–603.05. Form of registration in beneficiary form.

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.


(Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-292, § 302(b), 48 DCR 2087.)

Editor's Notes

Uniform Law: This section is based upon § 305 of the Uniform Nonprobate Transfers on Death Act (1991 Act).


§ 19–603.06. Effect of registration in beneficiary form.

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.


(Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-292, § 302(b), 48 DCR 2087.)

Editor's Notes

Uniform Law: This section is based upon § 306 of the Uniform Nonprobate Transfers on Death Act (1991 Act).


§ 19–603.07. Ownership on death of owner.

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.


(Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-292, § 302(b), 48 DCR 2087.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 19-603.08.

Editor's Notes

Uniform Law: This section is based upon § 307 of the Uniform Nonprobate Transfers on Death Act (1991 Act).


§ 19–603.08. Protection of registering entity.

(a) A registering entity is not required to offer or to accept a request 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 subchapter.

(b) By accepting a request for registration of a security in beneficiary form, the registering entity agrees that the registration will be implemented on death of the deceased owner as provided in this subchapter.

(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 19-603.07 and does so in good faith reliance (1) on the registration, (2) on this subchapter, and (3) on information provided to it by affidavit of the personal representative of the deceased owner, or by the surviving beneficiary or by the surviving beneficiary’s representatives, or other information available to the registering entity. The protections of this subchapter 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 affects its right to protection under this subchapter.

(d) The protection provided by this subchapter 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.


(Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-292, § 302(b), 48 DCR 2087.)

Editor's Notes

Uniform Law: This section is based upon § 308 of the Uniform Nonprobate Transfers on Death Act (1991 Act).


§ 19–603.09. Nontestamentary transfer on death.

(a) A 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 subchapter and is not testamentary.

(b) This subchapter does not limit the rights of creditors of security owners against beneficiaries and other transferees under other laws of the District.


(Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-292, § 302(b), 48 DCR 2087.)

Editor's Notes

Uniform Law: This section is based upon § 309 of the Uniform Nonprobate Transfers on Death Act (1991 Act).


§ 19–603.10. Terms, conditions, and forms for registration.

(a) A registering entity offering to accept registrations in beneficiary form may establish the terms and conditions under which it will receive requests (1) for registrations in beneficiary form, and (2) for 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. The terms and conditions so established may provide for proving death, avoiding or resolving any problems concerning fractional shares, designating primary and contingent beneficiaries, and 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.

(b) The following are illustrations of registrations in beneficiary form which 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.


(Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-292, § 302(b), 48 DCR 2087.)

Editor's Notes

Uniform Law: This section is based upon § 310 of the Uniform Nonprobate Transfers on Death Act (1991 Act).


§ 19–603.11. Application of subchapter.

This subchapter applies to registrations of securities in beneficiary form made before or after the effective date of this act [April 27, 2001], by decedents dying on or after the effective date of this act [April 27, 2001].


(Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-292, § 302(b), 48 DCR 2087.)

Editor's Notes

Uniform Law: This section is based upon § 405 of the Uniform Nonprobate Transfers on Death Act (1991 Act).


Subchapter IV. Uniform Real Property Transfers On Death.

§ 19–604.01. Short title.

This subchapter may be cited as the “Uniform Real Property Transfer on Death Act”.


(Mar. 19, 2013, D.C. Law 19-230, § 2(b), 59 DCR 13606.)


§ 19–604.02. Definitions.

For the purposes of this subchapter, the term:

(1) “Beneficiary” means a person that receives property under a transfer on death deed.

(2) “Designated beneficiary” means a person designated to receive property in a transfer on death deed.

(3) “Joint owner” means an individual who owns property concurrently with one or more other individuals with a right of survivorship. The term “joint owner” includes a joint tenant and tenancy by the entirety. The term “joint owner” does not include a tenancy in common.

(4) “Person” means an individual, estate, business or nonprofit entity, public corporation, government or governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality, or any other legal entity.

(5) “Property” means an interest in real property located in the District of Columbia, which is transferable on the death of the owner.

(6) “Transfer on death deed” means a deed authorized under this subchapter.

(7) “Transferor” means an individual who makes a transfer on death deed.


(Mar. 19, 2013, D.C. Law 19-230, § 2(b), 59 DCR 13606.)


§ 19–604.03. Applicability.

This subchapter applies to a transfer on death deed made before, on, or after the effective date of this subchapter by a transferor dying on or after the effective date of this subchapter.


(Mar. 19, 2013, D.C. Law 19-230, § 2(b), 59 DCR 13606.)


§ 19–604.04. Nonexclusivity.

This subchapter does not affect any method of transferring property otherwise permitted under the law of the District of Columbia.


(Mar. 19, 2013, D.C. Law 19-230, § 2(b), 59 DCR 13606.)


§ 19–604.05. Transfer on death deed authorized.

An individual may transfer property to one or more beneficiaries effective at the transferor’s death by a transfer on death deed.


(Mar. 19, 2013, D.C. Law 19-230, § 2(b), 59 DCR 13606.)


§ 19–604.06. Transfer on death deed revocable.

A transfer on death deed is revocable under § 19-604.11 even if the deed or another instrument contains a contrary provision.


(Mar. 19, 2013, D.C. Law 19-230, § 2(b), 59 DCR 13606.)


§ 19–604.07. Transfer on death deed nontestamentary.

A transfer on death deed is nontestamentary.


(Mar. 19, 2013, D.C. Law 19-230, § 2(b), 59 DCR 13606.)


§ 19–604.08. Capacity of transferor.

The capacity required to make or revoke a transfer on death deed is the same as the capacity required to make a will.


(Mar. 19, 2013, D.C. Law 19-230, § 2(b), 59 DCR 13606.)


§ 19–604.09. Requirements.

(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, a transfer on death deed shall contain the essential elements and formalities of a properly recordable inter vivos deed.

(b) A transfer on death deed shall state that the transfer to the designated beneficiary is to occur at the transferor’s death.

(c) A transfer on death deed shall be recorded before the transferor’s death in the Office of Recorder of Deeds.


(Mar. 19, 2013, D.C. Law 19-230, § 2(b), 59 DCR 13606.)


§ 19–604.10. Notice, delivery, acceptance, consideration not required.

A transfer on death deed is effective without:

(1) Notice or delivery to or acceptance by the designated beneficiary during the transferor’s life; or

(2) Consideration.


(Mar. 19, 2013, D.C. Law 19-230, § 2(b), 59 DCR 13606.)


§ 19–604.11. Revocation by instrument authorized; revocation by act not permitted.

(a) Subject to subsection (b) of this section, an instrument is effective to revoke a recorded transfer on death deed, or any part of it, only if the instrument:

(1) Is one of the following:

(A) A transfer on death deed that revokes the deed or part of the deed expressly or by inconsistency;

(B) An instrument of revocation that expressly revokes the deed or part of the deed; or

(C) An inter vivos deed that expressly revokes the transfer on death deed or part of the deed; and

(2) Is acknowledged by the transferor after the acknowledgment of the deed being revoked and recorded before the transferor’s death in the public records in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds.

(b) If a transfer on death deed is made by more than one transferor:

(1) Revocation by a transferor does not affect the deed as to the interest of another transferor; and

(2) A deed of joint owners is revoked only if it is revoked by all of the living joint owners.

(c) After a transfer on death deed is recorded, it may not be revoked by a revocatory act on the deed.

(d) This section does not limit the effect of an inter vivos transfer of the property.


(Mar. 19, 2013, D.C. Law 19-230, § 2(b), 59 DCR 13606.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 19-604.06.


§ 19–604.12. Effect of transfer on death deed during transferor’s life.

During a transferor’s life, a transfer on death deed does not:

(1) Affect an interest or right of the transferor or any other owner, including the right to transfer or encumber the property;

(2) Affect an interest or right of a transferee, even if the transferee has actual or constructive notice of the deed;

(3) Affect an interest or right of a secured or unsecured creditor or future creditor of the transferor, even if the creditor has actual or constructive notice of the deed;

(4) Affect the transferor’s or designated beneficiary’s eligibility for any form of public assistance;

(5) Create a legal or equitable interest in favor of the designated beneficiary; or

(6) Subject the property to claims or process of a creditor of the designated beneficiary.


(Mar. 19, 2013, D.C. Law 19-230, § 2(b), 59 DCR 13606.)


§ 19–604.13. Effect of transfer on death deed at transferor’s death.

(a) Except as otherwise provided in the transfer on death deed, in this section, or in § 16-910, § 18-308, § 19-320, § 19-502, or in Chapter 1 of Title 19, on the death of the transferor, the following rules apply to property that is the subject of a transfer on death deed and owned by the transferor at death:

(1) Subject to paragraph (2) of this section, the interest in the property is transferred to the designated beneficiary in accordance with the deed.

(2) The interest of a designated beneficiary is contingent on the designated beneficiary surviving the transferor. The interest lapses if a designated beneficiary fails to survive the transferor.

(3) Subject to paragraph (4) of this section, concurrent interests are transferred to the beneficiaries in equal and undivided shares with no right of survivorship.

(4) If the transferor has identified 2 or more designated beneficiaries to receive concurrent interests in the property, the share of one which lapses or fails for any reason is transferred to the other, or to the others in proportion to the interest of each in the remaining part of the property held concurrently.

(b) A beneficiary takes the property subject to all conveyances, encumbrances, assignments, contracts, mortgages, liens, and other interests to which the property is subject at the transferor’s death. For purposes of this subsection, the recording of the transfer on death deed is deemed to have occurred at the transferor’s death.

(c) If a transferor is a joint owner and is survived by one or more other joint owners, the property that is the subject of a transfer on death deed belongs to the surviving joint owner or owners with right of survivorship.

(d) If a transferor is a joint owner and is the last surviving joint owner, the transfer-on death-deed is effective.

(e) A transfer on death deed transfers property without covenant or warranty of title even if the deed contains a contrary provision.


(Mar. 19, 2013, D.C. Law 19-230, § 2(b), 59 DCR 13606.)


§ 19–604.14. Disclaimer.

A beneficiary may disclaim all or part of the beneficiary’s interest as provided by Chapter 15 of this title.


(Mar. 19, 2013, D.C. Law 19-230, § 2(b), 59 DCR 13606.)


§ 19–604.15. Liability for creditor claims and statutory allowances.

A beneficiary of a transfer on death deed is liable for an allowed claim against the transferor’s probate estate and statutory allowances to a surviving spouse and children to the extent provided in § 19-601.02.


(Mar. 19, 2013, D.C. Law 19-230, § 2(b), 59 DCR 13606.)


§ 19–604.16. Optional form of transfer on death deed.

The following form may be used to create a transfer on death deed. The other sections of this subchapter govern the effect of this or any other instrument used to create a transfer on death deed:

(front of form)
REVOCABLE TRANSFER ON DEATH DEED
NOTICE TO OWNER

You should carefully read all information on the other side of this form. You May Want to Consult a Lawyer Before Using This Form.

This form must be recorded before your death, or it will not be effective.

IDENTIFYING INFORMATION

Owner or Owners Making This Deed:

........................................................................

Printed name Mailing address

........................................................................

Printed name Mailing address

Legal description of the property:

........................................................................

PRIMARY BENEFICIARY

I designate the following beneficiary if the beneficiary survives me.

........................................................................

Printed name Mailing address, if available

ALTERNATE BENEFICIARY — Optional

If my primary beneficiary does not survive me, I designate the following alternate beneficiary if that beneficiary survives me.

........................................................................

Printed name Mailing address, if available

TRANSFER ON DEATH

At my death, I transfer my interest in the described property to the beneficiaries as designated above.

Before my death, I have the right to revoke this deed.

SIGNATURE OF OWNER OR OWNERS MAKING THIS DEED

.................................................. [(SEAL)]......................

Signature Date

.................................................. [(SEAL)]......................

Signature Date

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

(insert acknowledgment for deed here)

(back of form)
COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT THE USE OF THIS FORM

What does the Transfer on Death (“TOD”) deed do? When you die, this deed transfers the described property, subject to any liens or mortgages (or other encumbrances) on the property at your death. Probate is not required. The TOD deed has no effect until you die. You can revoke it at any time. You are also free to transfer the property to someone else during your lifetime. If you do not own any interest in the property when you die, this deed will have no effect.

How do I make a TOD deed? Complete this form. Have it acknowledged before a notary public or other individual authorized by law to take acknowledgments. The form has no effect unless it is acknowledged and recorded before your death.

Is the “legal description” of the property necessary? Yes.

How do I find the “legal description” of the property? This information may be on the deed you received when you became an owner of the property. This information may also be available in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds. If you are not absolutely sure, consult a lawyer.

Can I change my mind before I record the TOD deed? Yes. If you have not yet recorded the deed and want to change your mind, simply tear up or otherwise destroy the deed.

How do I “record” the TOD deed? Take the completed and acknowledged form to the Office of the Recorder of Deeds. Follow the instructions given by the Recorder of Deeds to make the form part of the official property records.

Can I later revoke the TOD deed if I change my mind? Yes. You can revoke the TOD deed. No one, including the beneficiaries, can prevent you from revoking the deed.

How do I revoke the TOD deed after it is recorded? There are three ways to revoke a recorded TOD deed: (1) Complete and acknowledge a revocation form, and record it in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds; (2) Complete and acknowledge a new TOD deed that disposes of the same property, and record it in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds; or (3) Transfer the property to someone else during your lifetime by a recorded deed that expressly revokes the TOD deed. You may not revoke the TOD deed by will.

I am being pressured to complete this form. What should I do? Do not complete this form under pressure. Seek help from a trusted family member, friend, or lawyer.

Do I need to tell the beneficiaries about the TOD deed? No, but it is recommended. Secrecy can cause later complications and might make it easier for others to commit fraud.

I have other questions about this form. What should I do? This form is designed to fit some but not all situations. If you have other questions, you are encouraged to consult a lawyer.


(Mar. 19, 2013, D.C. Law 19-230, § 2(b), 59 DCR 13606.)


§ 19–604.17. Optional form of revocation.

The following form may be used to create an instrument of revocation under this subchapter. The other sections of this subchapter govern the effect of this or any other instrument used to revoke a transfer on death deed.

(front of form)
REVOCATION OF TRANSFER ON DEATH DEED

NOTICE TO OWNER

This revocation must be recorded before you die or it will not be effective. This revocation is effective only as to the interests in the property of owners who sign this revocation.

IDENTIFYING INFORMATION

Owner or Owners of Property Making This Revocation:

........................................................................

Printed name Mailing address

........................................................................

Printed name Mailing address

Legal description of the property:

........................................................................

REVOCATION

I revoke all my previous transfers of this property by transfer on death deed.

SIGNATURE OF OWNER OR OWNERS MAKING THIS REVOCATION

.................................................. [(SEAL)] ......................

Signature Date

.................................................. [(SEAL)] ......................

Signature Date

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

(insert acknowledgment here)

(back of form)
COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT THE USE OF THIS FORM

How do I use this form to revoke a Transfer on Death (“TOD”) deed? Complete this form. Have it acknowledged before a notary public or other individual authorized to take acknowledgments. Record the form in the public records in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds. The form must be acknowledged and recorded before your death or it has no effect.

How do I find the “legal description” of the property? This information may be on the TOD deed. It may also be available in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds. If you are not absolutely sure, consult a lawyer.

How do I “record” the form? Take the completed and acknowledged form to the Office of the Recorder of Deeds. Follow the instructions given by the Recorder of Deeds to make the form part of the official property records.

I am being pressured to complete this form. What should I do? Do not complete this form under pressure. Seek help from a trusted family member, friend, or lawyer.

I have other questions about this form. What should I do? This form is designed to fit some but not all situations. If you have other questions, consult a lawyer.


(Mar. 19, 2013, D.C. Law 19-230, § 2(b), 59 DCR 13606.)


§ 19–604.18. Uniformity of application and construction.

In applying and construing this uniform act, consideration must be given to the need to promote uniformity of the law with respect to its subject matter among the states that enact it.


(Mar. 19, 2013, D.C. Law 19-230, § 2(b), 59 DCR 13606.)


§ 19–604.19. Relation to Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act.

This subchapter modifies, limits, or supersedes the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act, approved June 30, 2000 (114 Stat. 464; 15 U.S.C. § 7001 et seq.) (“Electronic Signatures Act”), but does not modify, limit, or supersede section 101(c) of the Electronic Signatures Act, or authorize electronic delivery of any of the notices described in section 103(b) of the Electronic Signatures Act.


(Mar. 19, 2013, D.C. Law 19-230, § 2(b), 59 DCR 13606.)