In estate planning, there are two types of avenues for when someone passes, probate transfers and non-probate transfers. Non-probate transfers have become increasingly popular because no one wants to actually go through the hassle of dealing with a probate. One way to ensure that property does not have to go through probate is to execute a transfer-on-death deed. A transfer-on-death deed can also avoid the sometimes hassle of forming a trust for your assets.
Under Oklahoma’s Non-testamentary Transfer of Property Act, Title 58 O.S. Sections 1251-1258, this law allows a “record owner” to use a transfer-on-death deed to name another person to receive their real estate without the property having to go through probate.
Unlike a regular deed, a transfer-on-death deed allows the record owner to maintain full ownership and control of the property for the entirety of their lifetime, and the beneficiary does not gain control of the property until the record owner’s death. So the owner would continue to pay taxes and enjoy the use of their property, but they would be self-assured that their property would not have to go through probate at their passing since they already made a non-probate transfer with transfer-on-death deed. Transfer-on-death deeds are also revocable, so if you decide to change your mind you can revoke it any time with no consequence.
Now that we have the background on transfer-on-death deeds, how do you prepare one for yourself? First, speak to an attorney because they will know the specifics of what all goes into a transfer-on-death deed to execute it properly. When meeting with the attorney it is advisable to have a beneficiary in mind that will receive the property at your passing. It streamlines the process and makes it easier to draft a transfer-on-death deed. The attorney will then draft the deed by including a detailed description of the legal property passing to the beneficiary. After the deed is drafted, you will sign the deed granting the property to your beneficiary, you or the attorney will record the deed to make it official, and then you will officially have a transfer-on-death deed.
Sometimes estate planning seems complicated and time consuming, but knowing that your loved ones will save a lot of time and money for not having to take property through probate is worth the effort. The attorneys at Skillern Law Firm, PLLC are experienced in drafting and executing transfer-on-death deeds to make sure that everything and everyone will be taken care of when you are gone. If you are ready to discuss your options for a transfer-on-death deed please call our office at 918-805-2511 to speak to an attorney today or you can make an appointment that fits your schedule here.