Transfer on Death Deed

A relatively recent tool in Oklahoma, effective November 1, 2008, is the Transfer-on-death deed.  By signing a transfer on death deed a beneficiary can receive the interest in real property the grantor has when they pass away.  This is a flexible option as the grantor can revoke the gift to the beneficiary, or change the beneficiary during their lifetime.  The deed does not prevent the grantor from later selling the property, or taking a mortgage out on the property.  If the property still has a mortgage when the grantor passes away, the beneficiary takes the property subject to the mortgage.  The transfer may have tax benefits over other transfers such as a joint tenancy deed.  One important matter the beneficiaries should know is they must file an affidavit that complies with state law accepting the transfer after the grantor passes away.  If they fail to comply with the law within nine months of the grantor’s death, then the property will revert to the grantor’s estate.

To summarize an Oklahoma transfer on death deed is:

  • easy to create,
  • simple to use,
  • relatively inexpensive compared to wills or trust,
  • provides flexibility to sell, or mortgage the property,
  • easy to change or revoke the beneficiary,
  • may provide tax advantages over other alternatives,
  • transfers Oklahoma real estate after death without a probate.

This article was written 1/21/2015 by Todd Willhoite, an estate planning attorney in Claremore, specifically for the Oklahoma jurisdiction.  A different result may occur in a different jurisdiction and the law does change, so it is important to seek competent legal and tax advice from professionals before acting on anything written in this article.  Abby Law Offices Inc. is a law office that handles estate planning law in Claremore, Oklahoma.

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