Transfer-On-Death Deed could
help avoid going through probate
Q: I understand Oklahoma's Transfer-On-Death Deed statutes were recently changed. What are some of the changes?
A: Probably the most significant change has to do with how property is transferred after the death of the owner. A Transfer-On-Death Deed allows a property owner to pass on a house or other real property without going through probate. Beginning in November, a person who has been left property through a TOD deed (called the “Grantee Beneficiary”) must file an affidavit and copy of a death certificate within nine months of the owner's death.
Q: What will happen if the Grantee Beneficiary doesn't file the affidavit?
A: If no affidavit is filed, the property will go back to the deceased owner's estate and may have to go through probate. Since a TOD deed is designed to avoid probate, failing to file the affidavit defeats the purpose of the deed and will likely lead to unnecessary legal costs. It may also result in the Grantee Beneficiary not inheriting the property.