The Sauk Prairie Eagle – Ask The Professional Column. (Jared Walker Smith)
Answer: There are various options for transferring real estate without court involvement including revocable trusts and life estates. However, these may not be appropriate for every person or situation. A more popular and inexpensive method of transferring your house is designating one or more beneficiaries of the property with a transfer-on-death (TOD) deed. Upon your passing, ownership of the property will transfer to the listed beneficiaries subject to any mortgage, lien, or other encumbrance.
TOD’s offer flexibility because they are not permanent, can be revoked at any time prior to death, and do not establish any present interest in the property. Additionally, federal law typically prohibits any mortgage company from enforcing a due-on-sale clause when you designate a beneficiary of your house by TOD deed. Like any planning tool, TOD deeds are not appropriate for every situation, so please see a qualified attorney to determine what is right for you.
Disclaimer: The above information is provided as general information, not as legal advice, and does not create an attorney client relationship. Before making any decisions regarding legal matters, individuals should consult with a qualified attorney.