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Transfer on Death Deed basics

A Transfer on Death Deed can be an easy way to transfer the ownership of property when you pass. By naming one or more new owners and going into effect automatically upon death, a Transfer on Death Deed can help simplify end-of-life planning and make sure your wishes are carried out.

Use the Transfer on Death Deed document if:

  • You would like to transfer ownership of your property to a beneficiary, but not until your death.
  • You want to avoid probate court.
  • You would like to retain ownership, responsibility, and control of your property while you are alive.

It's important to know that a Transfer on Death Deed trumps anything else you have in place—like a trust, will, or any other legal document. This form can be an excellent tool to ensure that your property goes to the right person (or people). But you have to keep it updated. Make sure you keep it with the rest of your estate plan and update it accordingly. Think it's right for you? A Transfer on Death Deed can help you etch your wishes in stone.

Important Note: Transfer on Death Deeds are currently only allowed in the following states: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan (called a Ladybird Deed), Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

In addition, a Transfer on Death Deed overrides any existing claim (s) to the property which may be in a will or trust. For example, a TOD overrides any statement in your will leaving the property to other beneficiaries.

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Sample Transfer on Death Deed

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