What is a TODD?

For clients who want to avoid having their homes go through probate when they pass, a Transfer on Death Deed (TODD) may be something to consider. It is a deed that is filed while the transferor is still living and enables real property (houses and land) to pass immediately to their beneficiaries upon their death without having to go through probate. I find them especially helpful for clients with simple estates (maybe just a joint bank account and a house) and children beneficiaries. It may not be worth it if you think you will sell the property soon or if you have many other assets – in that case, just let the will take care of it. In addition to the home not going through probate, two other benefits of a TODD include: (1) A TODD does not stop you from selling your home or revoking the TODD at a later date, and (2) Property passing under a TODD will not be subject to Medicaid Estate Recovery Program (MERP) claim. A TODD is not for everyone however, so contact a probate attorney for further information.