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Keep Your Real Property Out of Probate

Transfer on Death Deeds Save Money, Headaches

Did you know that real property in Ohio can be transferred directly at the property owners death, avoiding probate, by creating a Transfer on Death Deed? A Transfer on Death Deed is simply a real estate deed that allows real estate to be transferred on the death of the property owner to the person designated on the deed. This allows for a smoother and less expensive transfer on the death of the property owner and removes the property from the probate process.

The transfer on death deed works similar to a bank account with a transfer on death designation. Before the real property owner dies the designated beneficiary has no property rights or interests in the real property. A transfer on death designation can be changed by having the property owner create and record a new deed to the property.

This new Transfer on Death Deed designation can be done on a parcel of property in which an owner is either the sole owner or a tenant in common. If a deed is held jointly with rights of survivorship, then the other joint owner has the survivorship rights and a transfer on death deed is not necessary.

The transfer on death designation can also allow several beneficiaries to be named, not just one individual. Therefore someone may execute a Transfer on Death Deed leaving the property to several named children.

If a designated beneficiary dies before the property owner, then the property would transfer on the death of the property owner to a contingent beneficiary (if one was named). If there are no contingent beneficiaries named, then the real estate would become part of the owner’s probate estate. The real property would then pass through the normal transfer proceedings of the Probate Court. After the death of the property owner occurs, a death certificate and an affidavit are filed in the Recorder’s office by the designated beneficiary to effectuate the transfer.

Fanger & Associates can assist you if you are interested in changing your real property to allow for a transfer on death designation. Email or call us at 216-479-6820.