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Is a “registering entity” [PBC 5501(c)] required to inform a beneficiary that they are designated a beneficiary?

Santa Cruz, CA |

Does the following mean only a sole owner will have that information – or what does “may obtain registration…” mean?

Probate Code 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.

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Attorney Answers 1


  1. Part 3, entitled Uniform TOD Security Registartion Act, of Chapter 5, entitled Nonprobate Transfers, of the California Probate Code, is designed to encourage transfer on death accounts. The beneficiary has no rights until the owner of the account dies. The owner can change the beneficiary at any time. So, no, the beneficiary is not entitled to notice (from anyone) until the owner dies. Only the owner has the information. Section 5502 simply addresses who can obtain registration in beneficiary form.

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