Ladies and Gentlemen, I have some terrible news you were probably not aware of. We are all going to die . . . someday. Phew, now that the cat is out of the bag, let us take a minute to talk about probate avoidance. If you recall from the “Estate Planning FAQ Part 2” the idea that your property will have to go through probate was addressed. Quick recap, the default procedure for what happens to someone’s property when they die is called the process of probate. In probate, you will file documents with a court and eventually get approval to pay the deceased’s final bills and distribute his or her estate. The downsides to probate are that it can take months or even years to complete, and the probate process can be quite expensive. However, is probate avoidable? SPOILER ALERT – Yes, it is.
Welcome the Transfer on Death Deed (“ToDD”) to the estate planning scene. I know the name appears to explain what it does, but how does a ToDD work? The easiest way to think about a ToDD is by likening it to a retirement plan or life insurance. Whenever you sign up for a new retirement plan through work or enroll in a life insurance policy, either the plan or the policy will ask who should receive the benefits when you die. Think of a ToDD in the same way.
The Benefits Of A ToDD
A ToDD allows you to designate who should receive your land after you die. In this way, a ToDD acts a lot like a will. Here comes the major benefit! A ToDD allows you to skip the probate process for that piece of land. That means your loved ones do not need to wait months or years to receive the land, and your loved ones also do not need to spend extra money navigating through the probate process. The ToDD is one of the most useful and versatile tools in an estate planner’s toolbox.
With a ToDD allowing you to skip probate and give away land immediately upon death, it must be expensive, right? No! A ToDD is likely one of the most cost-efficient things you can do in the estate planning arena. Some minor time with an attorney and the fees your county requires to record a deed is all a ToDD will encompass. This truly is a user-friendly way to ensure your land goes to whomever you choose in the fastest means possible.
If you want to avoid probate, need to create or update an estate plan, or want to know more about Transfer on Death Deeds, contact an experienced attorney. Call our Estate Planning Team at 701-297-2890 or email us below.
The information contained in this article and on this website is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact an attorney to obtain advice with respect to your particular set of facts.