These deeds, often called TOD or beneficiary deeds, are like regular deeds except for one very important difference: They dont take effect until your death. Theyre used to leave real estate without probate court proceedings.
Using a TOD deed avoids probate because after your death, the beneficiary named on the deed takes ownership of the property immediately. Theres no probate paperwork or delay.
Filling out a TOD deed, which clearly states that it doesnt take effect until your death, is like filling out a regular deed. You name the beneficiary, sign the deed, get it notarized, and file (record) it with your local property records office.
TOD deeds are currently allowed in 13 states: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin. Be sure to use a deed form that contains all the elements required by your state. You can get state-specific downloadable Transfer-on-Death (Beneficiary) Deeds from Nolo.