Real Estate Deeds

Minnesota Transfer on Death Revocation

Minnesota's transfer on death deeds are governed by Minn. Stat. 507.071.

Transfer on death deeds offer an excellent alternative for people who wish to designate a beneficiary for their real estate, while remaining outside the complexity of the probate process. Life is unpredictable, however, and the grantor owner of the property might wish to change or revoke the previously recorded transfer on death deed. The same statute covering the deed also includes a section about revoking it (subd. 10).

There are several ways to revoke a transfer on death deed in Minnesota:

1. Complete and record a statutory revocation form (subd. 25). This is the source for the general revocation form. The statute states that a transfer on death deed "may be revoked at any time by the grantor owner or, if there is more than one grantor owner, by any of the grantor owners. To be effective, the revocation must be recorded in the county in which at least a part of the real property is located before the death of the grantor owner or owners who execute the revocation." The revocation is not effective . . . until the revocation is recorded in the county in which the real property is located.

2. Minnesota transfer on death deeds allow grantor owners full use of and control over the property to be conveyed. If the grantor owner who executed and recorded a transfer on death deed decides to convey the same property to a third party using anything "other than a transfer on death deed, all or a part of such grantor owner's interest in the property described in the transfer on death deed, no transfer of the conveyed interest shall occur on such grantor owner's death and the transfer on death deed shall be ineffective as to the conveyed or transferred interests, but the transfer on death deed remains effective with respect to the conveyance or transfer on death of any other interests described in the transfer on death deed owned by the grantor owner at the time of the grantor owner's death."

3. "If a grantor owner executes and records more than one transfer on death deed conveying the same interest in real property or a greater interest in the real property, the transfer on death deed that has the latest acknowledgment date and that is recorded before the death of the grantor owner upon whose death the conveyance or transfer is conditioned is the effective transfer on death deed and all other transfer on death deeds, if any, executed by the grantor owner or the grantor owners are ineffective to transfer any interest and are void." (subd. 13)

NOTE: a correctly executed, acknowledged, and recorded transfer on death deed cannot be revoked by a will. (subd. 19)

To summarize, once a transfer on death deed is recorded, there are three primary ways to revoke it: a revocation form, conveying the property to a third party by another kind of deed (warranty, quitclaim, etc.), or by executing and recording a new transfer on death deed with a different beneficiary. They may also be invalidated as part of a final divorce decree, but that is part of a different process. To maintain the most clarity in the chain of title (ownership history), however, it makes sense to record a revocation before changing anything else about the status of real estate covered by a transfer on death deed.

Remember that the revocation must be recorded, DURING THE GRANTOR OWNER'S LIFE, in the county where the property is located. Minnesota Transfer on Death Revocation Forms Have Been Updated as Recently as Friday April 20, 2018