Tidbits on Transfer on Death Deeds (TODDs)
So often, clients want to avoid probate and may think that a Transfer on Death Deed (known as “TODD”) is the best way to go about it. However, every client needs an estate planning attorney to review and discuss with them the advantages and disadvantages of a TODD. Here are some valuable questions an attorney may ask a client while discussing whether a TODD should be included in the client’s estate plan:
If there is more than one Grantee Beneficiary? How do the Grantee Beneficiaries currently get along? Remind the clients that unlike a probate proceeding in which a personal representative has the final say, the Grantee Beneficiaries will all have the same say as to what happens with the real property.
Do the clients want to pass title to the Grantee Beneficiaries as joint tenants or as tenants in common? Remember, when naming Grantee Beneficiaries, be sure to include a successor and consider whether-or-not the surviving beneficiaries may be “minors.”
Do the clients plan on moving anytime in the future?
If a client is not in continued connection with their attorney about their estate plan and a problem arises down the road, what will happen? What if multiple Grantee Beneficiaries take title and end up not agreeing as to what to do with the real property? This situation could lead to litigation.
A carefully planned and designed estate plan including a TODD must be well maintained like any vehicle you drive!