Revoking North Dakota's Transfer on Death Deeds
Note that revocations of transfer on death deeds must be recorded during the owner's life or they have no effect.
In 2011, North Dakota enacted the Uniform Real Property Transfer on Death Act, found in the North Dakota Century Code (NDCC) at Chapter 30.1-32.1.
According to this statute, owners of North Dakota real property may transfer property to one or more beneficiaries effective, at the transferor's death, by lawfully executing and recording a transfer on death deed (TODD) in the county or counties where the property is located (NDCC 32.1-02). The instruments must contain all the information required for traditional deeds, as well as a statement that the transfer will occur at the owner's death (30.1-32.1-06).
This transfer is nontestamentary, meaning it is not included in the owner's will (30.1-32.1-04). As a result, it does not require probate distribution. Even so, best practices dictate that the will and any other transfers should not contain any conflicting instructions.
Deeds under this law allow the owners to retain absolute ownership of and control over the land until death, including the ability to cancel or change the beneficiary designation, and to sell the property outright to someone else (30.1-32.1-09). Because the transfer is revocable (30.1-32.1-03), there is no obligation to notify the beneficiary or to collect consideration (money) for the potential future interest (30.1-32.1-07).
Revocability is one of the unique features of TODDs. It gives property owners the flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances by modifying or cancelling future transfers with relative ease. In addition, if the owner decides to sell the real estate to someone else, executing and recording a revocation provides a firm end point for a recorded TODD. This action reduces the potential for confusion about the title, and contributes to the property's clear chain of title (ownership history).
Section 30.1-32.1-08 provides the rules for revoking a recorded TODD. There are three main options, all of which must be executed and recorded while the owner is still alive:
- a new transfer on death deed that revokes all or part of the earlier deed
- an instrument of revocation that specifically revokes the earlier deed
- a tradition deed, such as a warranty or quitclaim deed, that conveys all the owner's interest in the property.
Deeds.com North Dakota Transfer on Death Deed Revocation Forms Have Been Updated as Recently as Wednesday October 13, 2021
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