Let us assume that an Ohio resident who owns real property, such as a house, passes away. Many people wonder whether the property owned by that person can be passed on to someone else, per the owner’s wish, without entering into probate administration and without the requirement for creating a trust. The answer to that question is “Yes!”
Transfer on Death (TOD) Designation Affidavit
According to Ohio laws, such a transfer is possible by executing a legal document that is called a Transfer-On-Death Designation Affidavit. A TOD Designation Affidavit is a document, which is “effective upon the death deed” that clearly shows the original property owner’s intent to transfer the property to whomsoever that owner designates by name.
It is also important to note that the TOD Designation Affidavit can have more than one person names in it. In fact, it can have multiple names, with some being contingent beneficiaries, that is, the beneficiary who will receive the property in the event that originally planned beneficiary is deceased. Also, if all beneficiaries are deceased, the real property would be included as a part of the original owner’s probate estate.
An advantage of a TOD Designation Affidavit is that the transfer of the real property happens without passing through probate administration, as long as the affidavit is properly recorded. In order to revoke a TOD Designation Affidavit, the person who created it needs to execute and record a new TOD Designation Affidavit.
The transfer of the real property is recorded by submitting a copy of the property owner’s death certificate along with an affidavit signed by any person aware of the transfer, in the Recorder’s office. Also, an important point is that the accompanying affidavit can even be signed by the person who is named in the TOD Designation Affidavit.
Executing and recording a TOD Designation Affidavit
In order to create a TOD Designation Affidavit, it is a wise decision to speak with an experienced estate planning attorney. The attorney can review the current deed for the property and guide the property in making well-informed decisions.