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What is a transfer on death deed? 4 common questions

On Behalf of | Dec 29, 2022 | Elder Law & Estate Planning

Estate planning can bring many legal and logistical worries. Even with a will in place, you may worry about the lengthy probate process your heirs must endure after you pass away.

In some cases, it is possible to avoid probate through careful planning. If you own real estate, a transfer on death deed might be an option.

How does a transfer on death deed work?

A transfer on death deed allows you to name a beneficiary who will take ownership of the property upon your death. You can name more than one beneficiary on a TOD deed. Multiple beneficiaries may inherit the property as joint tenants.

Is the TOD deed valid as soon as I sign it?

According to Minnesota law, a TOD deed becomes effective after you have submitted it to the county recorder. Do not skip this critical step, as the TOD deed will not be valid unless properly recorded.

What if the beneficiary does not want the property?

A TOD deed does not require the consent of the beneficiary. However, the beneficiary can refuse to take ownership of the property after your death.

Will a TOD deed protect my property from an MA claim?

Minnesota law allows local agencies to recover some Medical Assistance costs from your estate. If there is an MA lien on your property, the beneficiary can apply for a clearance certificate. If the court deems that the claim is valid, the TOD deed will not protect the property from the claim.

A transfer on death deed can not avoid all potential legal issues, but it can help streamline the process of transferring your assets to your heirs after your death.

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