Whether you have a will or not, your property will still go through the probate court system. A Transfer on Death Deed conveys property outside of probate, allowing for you to avoid incurring court costs. Also, it excludes real property from Medicaid estate recovery.
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For individuals age 55 or older, states are required by the federal government to seek recovery of payments from the individual’s estate for nursing facility services, in-home care, and related hospital and drug services. A simple will goes through probate and subjects property to being taken by Medicaid estate recovery. Under current law, property passed on by a Transfer on Death Deed is exempted from Medicaid estate recovery.
The Transfer on Death Deed does not replace a will. The will may still remain an important part of your estate plan especially if you have special bequests or a large amount of personal property. A Transfer on Death Dead covers only real property, like land and improvements, and conveys property outside of probate which allows you to avoid court costs. It is best if your will and transfer on Death Deed are consistent as to who receives your home and land. If your will and Transfer on Death Deed are inconsistent, the person named in the Transfer on Death Deed, not your will, will own your property after your death.
Real property includes land, improvements (including house), uncut timber, and mineral rights. Personal property includes things that are not attached to the land and can be easily removed. Personal property cannot be disposed of with a Transfer on Death Deed
- If your heirs can decide on who gets furniture, jewelry, clothing, etc., then the courts do not have to be involved with deciding who gets possession of those items.
- If you have stocks or mutual funds, all of the investment houses will allow you to name a beneficiary to receive those investments without going through the courts.
- Similarly, if you have a savings or checking account, you should make sure that it is either a joint account where a surviving heir has access to make deposits and withdrawals during your lifetime, or that it is a POD or “payable on death” account, where you designate a beneficiary who will obtain ownership of the account when you pass away outside of the court system.
Yes, the Transfer on Death Deed may be revoked or canceled in several ways. The deed is considered revoked if you record a new Transfer on Death Deed, or if you record a cancellation of Transfer on Death Deed. A divorce decree will also invalidate a deed with respect to a spouse beneficiary.
Oftentimes, people automatically go to their tax records when asked to obtain a legal description of their property. A legal property description should ALWAYS be obtained from an existing deed, and NOT tax records as these are oftentimes incomplete or inaccurate and can cause an otherwise properly filled out Deed to become null and void.
Many people mistakenly believe that just because you are married in Texas and you own property together, that the surviving spouse automatically inherits the entire property. This is not the case. If you have a will, it will have to be probated in court to transfer the title. An alternative option is a Transfer on Death Dead to transfer the property to your spouse.
It can be a mistake to put off filing a Transfer on Death Dead, especially if you are in poor health. Unfortunately once a person has passed, or is deemed incompetent, a Transfer on Death Dead is no longer an option. A power of attorney can NOT be used to execute a Transfer on Death Dead for another person. It is beneficial for Texas landowners to have a Transfer on Death Dead drafted and filed as soon as possible.
It is important to learn about Transfer on Death Deeds so you know how to use one.
Please read Transfer on Death . The article will address questions such as: : Information and Answers
- What is a Transfer on Death ?
- Does a Transfer on Death affect my rights while I'm alive?
- What if I own property with someone else?
- Does a Transfer on Death shield the property from creditors?
- Many more...
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