A transfer on death deed is a document that is used for transferring real estate to a person (beneficiary) upon the owner’s death. The deed has no effect over the owner’s property until death occurs. Should the owner (grantor) wish to lease, renovate, or even sell the property, they retain the right to do so.
Also known as a:
- Beneficiary deed
- TOD deed
Transfer on death deeds are currently permitted in twenty-nine (29) states. If a TOD deed is not permitted in the owner’s state, they may be interested in executing a living trust or a lady bird deed, as long they are accepted in their state.
- New Mexico
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
A transfer on death deed passes one’s ownership in real property to another person (or persons) upon the owner’s death. The owner is known as the grantor, and the recipient is called the beneficiary or grantee.
The deed can be revoked anytime prior to the owners’s death. This can be done by either completing a new transfer on death deed and recording it in the same manner as the first, OR by completing and recording a revocation of transfer on death deed.
- Allows the beneficiary to skip the probate process.
- Doesn’t change the grantor’s ownership over the property.
- Can be revoked at anytime prior to the grantor’s death.
- Transfers all liens and mortgages to the beneficiary (if any).
- Jointly owned property overrides a TOD deed.
- Step 1 – Download the Correct Form
- Step 2 – Fill it Out
- Step 3 – Sign it
- Step 4 – Record it with County Clerk
Because many of the states that permit transfer on death deeds have their own specific requirements, it’s important that a state-specific form is used. Select a state above.
The deed can be filled online or printed and completed by hand. The major points of information the owner will need to input into the form includes:
- The full name, marital status, and mailing address of the owner(s).
- The legal description of the property (can be found on the last recorded deed or at the local county recorder’s office).
- The beneficiary’s full name, marital status, and mailing address.
- If applicable, the alternative beneficiary’s full name, marital status, and address.
Prior to signing the form, check the state requirements to see if the deed needs to be notarized and/or signed by witnesses prior to recording.
The majority of states require that grantors have their signatures notarized, while some permit the signatures of two (2) witnesses as an alternative. The beneficiary does not need to sign the deed.
Bring the signed deed to the local county recorder to finalize the process. The recorder will require a small fee. Once recorded, the transfer on death deed is in effect. While nothing changes in regards to the owner’s current power over their property, the real estate is instantaneously conveyed to the beneficiary upon the owner’s death.
The following table contains the statutes pertaining to transfer on death for the twenty-nine (29) states that permit this type of deed.
|Alaska||§§ 13.48.010 to 13.48.195|
|California||§§ 5600 to 5698|
|Colorado||§§ 15-15-404 to 15-15-415|
|Hawaii||§§ 527-1 to 527-17|
|Illinois||§§ 755 ILCS 27/1 to 27/100|
|Indiana||§§ 32-17-14-0.2 to 32-17-14-32|
|Maine||§§ 6-401 to 6-421|
|Mississippi||§§ 91-27-1 to 91-27-37|
|Montana||§§ 72-6-401 to 72-6-418|
|Nebraska||§§ 76-3401 to 76-3423|
|Nevada||§§ 111.655 to 111.699|
|New Mexico||§§ 45-6-401 to 45-6-417|
|North Dakota||§§ 30.1-32.1-01 to 30.1-32.1-14|
|Oklahoma||58 § 1253|
|Oregon||§§ 93.948 to 93.985|
|South Dakota||§§ 29A-6-401 to 29A-6-435|
|Texas||§§ 114.001 to 114.106|
|Utah||§§ 75-6-401 to 75-6-419|
|Virginia||§§ 64.2-621 to 64.2-638|
|Washington||§§ 64.80.010 to 64.80.904|
|West Virginia||§§ 36-12-1 to 36-12-17|
|Wyoming||§§ 2-18-101 to 2-18-105|