Your named beneficiaries will likely have to go through probate to receive your real property after your death if it is only in your name and not held in trust. Although transferring property into trust can ensure your family does not have to wait for a judge to validate your will before distributing your assets, it might not make sense for your situation.

Another beneficial method is a transfer-on-death (TOD) deed. A TOD deed transfers a person’s real property to named beneficiaries upon the transferor’s death. It is similar to a transfer-on-death registration for an investment account or a payable-on-death designation for a bank account.

You have control over your real property during your lifetime, even with a TOD beneficiary designation. You can choose to keep it, sell it, or do anything else you want. You are also responsible for the taxes and mortgage on the property. As long as you still own the property when you die, the TOD deed will avoid probate and automatically transfer the property to your beneficiaries.

How to Set Up a TOD Deed

Not all states have laws allowing TOD deeds. The property you own must be in a state with TOD deed laws. The steps to create a deed differ from one state to another but typically require that you:

Contact Us Today to Speak with an Experienced Estate Lawyer

Do not hesitate to contact us if you’re considering creating a TOD deed. Since you must follow various state laws and procedures to file a valid deed, allowing an experienced lawyer to assist you is critical.

Drafting your own deed could lead to a range of complications. If you make a mistake, your beneficiaries might not be able to receive your property without going to court first. Additionally, confusion about the language in the document could create disputes within your family and require a judge to resolve the issue. Don’t go it alone; let us help.  Simply contact us to schedule an appointment with the mention of this blog post.


This article is a service of Miller & Miller Law Group.


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