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What does transfer-on-death mean? Is it right for my real estate?

Making plans for the end of one’s life is never pleasant.  It is often extremely difficult for a deceased person’s survivors to cope with grief while also navigating probate and estate administration. But a consultation with an attorney about preparing a Transfer on Death Affidavit can go a long way toward saving effort for your loved ones after your death. These documents allow you to pass your real estate to the people you love without the involvement of the Probate Court.  However, they are not for everyone.

Transfer-on-death: What to know

If you own real estate, you have the option of transferring the title to a beneficiary following your death. A transfer-on-death (TOD) designation affidavit is the document that allows you to do this. With a TOD, the ownership of your house, condo, vacation home or other property would transfer smoothly to another individual upon your death. Ohio also allows you to name multiple beneficiaries to the title if you wish.

Should I choose a TOD?

While transfer-on-deaths are excellent options, they are not a good fit for all property owners. If you own a piece of real estate jointly – say, with your spouse – things become more complicated.

What TODs mean for your family

In addition to the gratitude that survivors feel when they inherit real estate, they feel grateful that their deceased loved one set up a transfer-on-death affidavit. It goes a long way toward reducing the stress caused by the endless, confusing steps of probate. The use of a Transfer on Death designation Affidavit can minimize the process of transfer while still allowing you to direct who the beneficiaries are.  If you want to make sure that your hard-earned real estate transfers to the correct beneficiaries after you die, it is never too soon to consult with an attorney about estate planning.