Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Wisconsin's Transfer on Death Deed

Several years ago Wisconsin enacted legislation allowing people to use a Transfer on Death Deed, which allows them to leave someone property outside of the probate system. It is a two part system. First, the property owner(s) executes a TOD Deed where they name a beneficiary (it must be a person, i.e. Jane Smith, rather than a class, i.e. children) of the property and record the deed with the County Register of Deeds office. Second, upon the owner's death, the beneficiary files a form with the Register of Deeds and the property is transferred to them as the new owner. This all occurs outside of the probate process. It can be an affordable alternative to a will or trust, however, it does not allow for contingency planning. Recently someone asked, can a TOD Deed be undone? The answer is yes. Wisconsin Statutes, Section 705.15(3) states in part:

The designation may be canceled or changed at any time by the sole owner or all then surviving owners, without the consent of the beneficiary, by executing and recording another deed that designates a different beneficiary or no beneficiary. The recording of a deed that designates a TOD beneficiary or no beneficiary revokes any designation made in a previously recorded deed relating to the same property interest.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can you list backup people who would get your house in the event your first choice is dead?

What happens if all the people you've listed are dead?

I suppose the way to avoid this situation is to update the transfer on death form immediately if the person you have selected dies.