Transfer on Death Deed: Information, Instructions and Forms
Authored By: Texas Access to Justice Commission
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1. WHAT IS A TRANSFER ON DEATH DEED?
A new Texas state law allows real property owners to record a “Transfer on Death Deed” naming a beneficiary to own that real property after they die. With a properly recorded Transfer on Death Deed, no probate is needed to transfer the real property.
2. I ALREADY HAVE A WILL. WHY WOULD I WANT A TRANSFER ON DEATH DEED?
Whether you have a will or not, your property will still have to go through the probate court system. A Transfer on Death Deed conveys property outside of probate. The avoidance of probate allows for you to avoid incurring court costs and administrative costs to deed the property to your beneficiary. Under current law, it also excludes the real property from Medicaid estate recovery.
3. DOES A TRANSFER ON DEATH DEED REPLACE A WILL?
The Transfer on Death Deed does not replace a will. The will remains an important part of your estate plan. Your will may provide how property without beneficiary designations passes, and may provide what happens if all beneficiaries predecease you. Your will may allow you to provide in detail who gets items of personal property, including your motor vehicles, heirlooms and furniture. You should consult your attorney about how a Transfer on Death Deed fits into your estate plan.
Transfer on Death Deed Forms, Instruction and Information