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On September 1, 2015, owners of real property in Texas gained access to a useful estate planning tool: the statutory transfer on death deed (TODD). Modeled after the Uniform Real Property Transfer on Death Act and located at Chapter 14 of the Texas Estates Code, the Texas Real Property Transfer on Death Act governs the use of transfer on death deeds in the State of Texas.
IMPORTANT: TRANSFER ON DEATH DEEDS AND ASSOCIATED REVOCATIONS MUST BE RECORDED WHILE THE OWNER IS ALIVE OR THEY HAVE NO EFFECT.
Requiring the same level of competency as needed for a contract ( 114.054), transfer on death deeds are nontestamentary (not using a will) instruments. They allow transferors/owners to retain absolute ownership of and control over their land during their lives -- they may sell, mortgage, rent, or otherwise use the real estate as they desire, with no penalty for waste or obligation to notify the beneficiaries ( 114.101).
To be lawfully executed, a TODD must fulfill three minimum standards, set out in 114.055:
* Meet all state and local standards for recordable deeds, including appropriate content and format
* State that the transfer will take place at the owner's death
* Be recorded, during the owner's natural lifetime, in the deed records in the county clerk's office for the county where the property is located.
By recording the executed TODD, property owners may also take advantage of one of the most unique aspects of these instruments: revocability ( 114.052). Revocability is possible for two primary reasons: there is no obligation to notify the beneficiaries about the potential future interest they stand to gain when the owner dies; and these conveyances generally do not involve consideration (something of value given in exchange for the property) ( 114.056).
The statute provides several methods for revoking a TODD. The owner may execute and record a new TODD, cancelling the prior deed and designating a different beneficiary. The owner may also sell the real estate to someone else using a standard inter vivos conveyance such as a warranty deed or a quitclaim deed that contains a comment revoking the TODD. A third option uses a revocation form, which, after recording, cancels all previously recorded TODDs ( 114.057).
Transfer on death deeds convey title with no warranties of title, and subject to all agreements, encumbrances, and other interests in place at the time of the owner's death ( 114.104(a)). Two or more beneficiaries take ownership in equal and undivided shares with no right of survivorship ( 114.103(a)(3)).
In much the same way that owners may wish to change or revoke a beneficiary designation, sometimes beneficiaries are unable or unwilling to accept the property after the owner dies. To address this need, beneficiaries may disclaim all or part of the interest in land ( 114.105).
Under 114.057(b), the recorded TODD is not affected by information contained within the owner's will. Even so, best practices dictate that an efficient estate plan does not contain conflicting directions, so make sure that the documents work together to reinforce the owner's intent.
Overall, TODDs offer a useful, flexible estate planning tool to owners of real property in Texas. Before committing to a TODD, consider the effect it will have on the comprehensive estate plan as well as eligibility for income-and/or-asset-based benefits. Each situation is unique, so for complex circumstances or additional questions, contact a local attorney.
Get your El Paso County Transfer on Death Deed form done right the first time with Deeds.com Uniform Conveyancing Blanks. At Deeds.com, we understand that your time and money are valuable resources, and we don't want you to face a penalty fee or rejection imposed by a county recorder for submitting nonstandard documents. We constantly review and update our forms to meet rapidly changing state and county recording requirements for roughly 3,500 counties.
We guarantee that you will receive access to the forms that you order and that those forms will be compliant with the recording requirements for the jurisdiction the forms were purchased for and the statutory requirements for content of the document.
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It seems to be a good product that is yet to be determined by me. I was hoping there would be an example spouses that own their home but not as Joint Tenants with Right of Survivorship which is my case and I understand is the case for many people whether or not they are aware of it. But that is just my selfish opinion.
fast, efficient provision of forms
Just what I needed. Instructions need an additional statement whether and how a widow(er)who held in joint tenancy should describe himself as a single person.
What I needed and easy to acquire
It took a while because I did not know what I was really looking for I need more to under stand what I really needed when you loose a love one you are a little lost and confused so you are feeling in the dark and to me the fees are a little high when you are just told you have to go on line for what ever you need I must say thank you I am learning
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Site was easy to navigate and price was very fair. Nice to have it include instructions and a sample format for a completed form.
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Satisfied enough to recommend it to friends.
Not satisfied with the package that I downloaded. Did not contain as much material that I expected to receive.
Easy to follow, examples very helpful.
It was noce that we could fill them out on our computer and print them out, I would not have wanted to hand write a document.
ALL THE INFORMATION I RECIEVED WAS JUST WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR, AND THE YOUNG LADY WAS KINDA RUSHING BUT VERY INFORMATIVE AND DISTINCT IN EXPLAINING THE INFORMATION I NEEDED THANKS!
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So glad that Texas finally made the transfer on death deed an option. This form was perfect, easy to follow and complete. I liked that I was able to fill it out on my computer. Thanks, Ilene