A transfer on death deed (TODD) is a legal document that allows a person to transfer ownership of their property after they die. By using a TODD, a person can transfer the property directly without going through probate.
This procedure can be used for property like land, houses, buildings, and vehicles. A person may choose to leave the property to one or more people (referred to as "beneficiaries"). Additionally, organizations like charities or religious institutions can also be beneficiaries. If a person changes their mind about transferring property to a beneficiary, they can cancel the TODD.
The records must be recorded before the property holder's death. Transfer on death deeds are recorded in the county the property is located in. Check with the county clerk's office for records of existing transfer on death deeds.
Enhanced life estate deeds (often called Lady Bird deeds) are similar to TODDs but have a few key differences. A Lady Bird deed is a type of life estate deed that allows an owner to designate a beneficiary but still make decisions about the property. The owner can choose to sell or mortgage the property without the permission of the beneficiary.
Like a TODD, the property will automatically transfer to the beneficiary after the owner's death. Unlike a TODD, a Lady Bird deed can be executed by an agent with power of attorney over the owner.
Transfer a car, truck, or other motor vehicle to a person of your choosing after your death with the procedures and forms created by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. You will need to fill out paperwork to declare a beneficiary and add the person to the title and registration. The completed forms are filed with your county’s tax assessor-collector’s office.
Certain types of bank accounts (called payable on death or POD accounts) allow the account holder to designate one or more beneficiaries.
This allows the funds to be transferred to the beneficiaries after death without court involvement. To retrieve the funds after the account owner's death, the beneficiary will need to provide the bank with a copy of the death certificate.
Banks typically create their own forms for this procedure, so ask your bank about what is needed to add a beneficiary to your account.