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Real Estate Deed And Transfer On Death Of Principal Owner

While a real estate deed, as a document, establishes the ownership for a particular property, the transfer of the same property to another individual or entity entails fresh documentation and the preparation of a fresh deed. There are many reasons for a transfer of property, but the death of the principal property owner is among the most common. A transfer on death deed (TOD), allows the property owner to identify a beneficiary (or beneficiaries) who will receive the property upon the owner’s death. It is essential for this deed to be recorded in the county office in order to be valid and recognized. This also ensures that it can be passed on to the grantee in the event of the death of the grantor.

Going through the circle of life, we all reach the stage where thinking about death is inevitable and the next natural thought that occurs is obviously that of our loved ones. It is common for people to leave behind something for their children in the form of inheritance, which usually takes the shape of property and is commonly known as real estate. There are a number of ways in which this can be done, including the creation of a trust; however, none of the methods are as effective and as dependable as the transfer on death deed. Establishing a trust is not only a complicated procedure but is also an expensive one, and very often, individuals who have chosen this option find themselves at the mercy of lawyers, which in itself is not desirable. Comparatively, a transfer on death deed is preferable for its ease and clarity.

Upon signing the real estate transfer on death deed, the owner of the real estate is required to mention the name or entity to which the property will pass on after his death. This inclusion can be made without a probate proceeding and the details pertaining to the beneficiary can be changed at any time without having to seek the consent of the beneficiary. All it requires is a visit to the real estate office to make the necessary alterations to the records. Therefore, for someone who is planning out their estate, the transfer on death deed is like a godsend, as it ensures the preservation of wealth in the best possible manner and the fair distribution of assets that have been accumulated during the lifetime.

For a transfer on death deed to be valid, it has to be recorded during the lifetime of the owner. But since it becomes effective only after the death of the grantor, the actual transfer of property to the grantee takes place after this event, when the necessary documents like the death certificate and the affidavit of survivorship are presented before the authorities. If the grantor wishes to revoke the name of the grantee mentioned on his real estate deed and replace it with another name, he would need to take appropriate action prior to his death. Although the grantor reserves the right to change his mind about who to hand over the property to after his death, unless the revocation is duly recorded during his lifetime, it does not have any standing in the eyes of the law.

The decision to opt for the transfer on death deed has a number of advantages for the elderly, as it enables them to exercise certain rights over the property without interference from others, including the beneficiary. This implies that during the lifetime of the grantor, the beneficiary does not have any power over the property and hence cannot use it for his personal financial gains like mortgage or taking an interest. The transfer of property by the grantee is also prohibited until it legally and officially belongs to him. On the other hand, the grantee ought to be prepared for the fact that taxes, mortgage, or any other liens attached to the property in question under the transfer on death deed will be carried over to him.

When the beneficiary receives the property subsequent to the death of the grantor, he/she has to adhere to a certain procedure in order to shift it to his/her name as a way of dispensing with legal formalities. It is essential to change the title of deed as soon as possible, as delaying the matter could lead to uncalled-for complications at a later stage. Since it is a simple process which takes about 30 days, the sooner it is undertaken the better it is for the grantee.

With regards to a real estate deed, the name changing process commences with gathering all the necessary documents for bringing about the name change. Some of the important papers in this regard are the marriage certificate, a divorce decree in case of a divorce, a copy of the grantor’s death certificate, and the child’s birth certificate in case the child’s name needs to be added to the deed. After collecting all the papers, the grantee should call a reputable title company and explain that the name needs to be changed along with the reason for doing so. On its part, the title company will require the grantee to fill out an application form and provide a picture id along with the other necessary documents in order to initiate the process of changing of the name on the deed.

At this stage, it is imperative to be aware of the payment procedure of the specific title company, which may be different from one company to another. However, since the process of changing the name requires a certain amount of charge, all title companies ask for a certain amount of advance and use this amount to prepare and file the new deed with the county clerk’s office. Recording the new real estate deed in the public records office also comes under the job description of the title company. The new owner is provided with the copy of the deed, which should be stored in a safe place as a proof of ownership. However, deeds can also be handled without the use of a title company. Many places sell blank forms that can be filled in with the appropriate information.
Related Topics: | General | Transfer on Death |
December 20, 2011, - Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed, you should always confirm this information with the proper agency prior to acting. The materials available at this web site are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. These materials are intended, but not promised or guaranteed to be current, complete, or up-to-date.
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