Avoiding Probate With Transfer-on-Death Deeds

In my opinion, a revocable living trust is the best estate planning tool available to avoid probate, maintain the privacy of your affairs and provide for incapacity or disability. However, for some people, a revocable living trust may not be the right fit. In these instances, it makes sense to consider a transfer-on-death deed, which is authorized by Title 58, Section 1251, et seq., of the Oklahoma Statutes. A transfer-on-death deed is signed by the record owner of an interest in real property, designating a grantee beneficiary or beneficiaries of the real property. Like other types of deeds, it is filed in the county land records. Yet, a transfer-on-death deed does not take effect until the owner’s death. At that time, the grantee beneficiary or beneficiaries accept the real property by executing a short affidavit, attaching the affidavit to a copy of the owner’s death certificate and recording the affidavit and death certificate together in the county land records. This must be done within 9 months of the date of death.

Assuming all of the legal requirements are complied with, transfer-on-death deeds avoid probate. Transfer-on-death deeds also allow one to retain control of their property while they are living. Finally, transfer-on-death deeds minimize or eliminate some of the negative tax consequences involved with joint tenancy and other forms of co-ownership.

For tangible personal property such as bank accounts and IRAs, one should be sure to designate beneficiaries. That way, the assets pass automatically at death without the need for probate.

Ratings and Reviews

10.0Tyler R. Barrett
Tyler R. BarrettReviewsout of reviews