Revoking Transfer on Death Deeds in Alaska
Effective July 21, 2014, owners of real estate in Alaska can take advantage of a useful estate planning tool: the transfer on death deed (TODD). Find the full text of this new law at AS 13.48.
This statute is based on the Uniform Real Property Transfer on Death Act (URPTODA). By adopting the provisions of the URPTODA, Alaska joins with an increasing number of states using this law to help land owners manage the distribution of what is often their most significant asset -- their real estate -- by executing and recording a transfer on death deed.
The named beneficiary gains no present rights to the property, only a potential future interest. Instead, the transferors retain absolute control during their lives. This includes the freedom to sell or transfer it to someone else, and to modify or revoke the intended transfer on death (AS 13.48.080). These details, along with the fact that TODDs only convey the property rights remaining, if any, at the owner's death, explain why they do not require notice or consideration (AS 13.48.060).
Geared to life's unpredictability, the law also includes a mechanism to modify or revoke the previously recorded TODD (AS 13.48.070). Executing and recording the revocation form allows the owner to cancel the recorded TODD, providing an obvious beginning and end to the interest it contained. At that point, the owner has a blank slate with regards to the property, and so can proceed with any plans for it while maintaining a clear chain of title.
The chain of title refers to the property's ownership history. Many sales and mortgages require title searches, and a clear chain of title simplifies that process. Recording the revocation for cancelled or changed transfers at death can prevent what's known as a "cloud" on the title. A clouded title contains missing, incomplete, or otherwise inaccurate information, and generally slows down the title search.
Each situation is unique, so consult an attorney with specific questions or for complex circumstances.
Deeds.com Alaska Transfer on Death Revocation Forms Have Been Updated as Recently as Thursday April 19, 2018