How the New Owner Claims Transfer-on-Death Real Estate

Transferring real estate that's been left through a transfer-on-death (TOD) deed should be easy.

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Someone who inherits real estate that's been left through a transfer-on-death (TOD) deed should have an easy time transferring ownership after the original owner dies. 

Generally, after the real estate's owner dies, all the TOD beneficiary needs to do is file a short sworn statement (affidavit) and a certified copy of the death certificate in the public land records. This establishes a record of when the property changed hands and who the new owner is.

In most states, the affidavit must state the name of the new owner, describe the property, and give the date of the previous owner's death. If state law requires it, the affidavit may also need to state the fair market value of the real estate at the date of death. A sample affidavit, from Nevada, is shown below. Affidavits for other states will be slightly different. And because laws change, the TOD beneficiary should check the state statute or consult a lawyer to find out the exact requirements that are in effect when the transfer takes place.

Sample Death of Grantor Affidavit (Nevada)

Death of Grantor Affidavit

Madison R. Benjamin, being duly sworn, deposes and says that Julius M. Benjamin, the decedent mentioned in the attached certified copy of the Certificate of Death, is the same person as Julius M. Benjamin, named as the grantor or as one of the grantors in the deed upon death recorded on March 13, 20xx, instrument number 9929990, records of Washoe County, Nevada, covering the property commonly known as 245 Oak Street, Reno, County of Washoe, State of Nevada, and more particularly described as:

[Legal description of the real estate]

Madison R. Benjamin is the beneficiary or at least one of the beneficiaries to whom the real property is conveyed upon the death of the grantor Julius M. Benjamin or is the authorized representative of the beneficiary or at least one of the beneficiaries. The beneficiary listed in the deed upon death is Madison R Banjamin.

(Date): February 12, 20xx
(Signature): Madison R. Benjamin

[notarization]

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