Transfer on Death Deeds – A Terrific Tool or Terrible Trouble?

In 2012, Oregon began to allow transfer on death deeds for real property. It allows a very specific deed to be filed which automatically transfers title of the property to those listed as beneficiaries. It can be a great tool in the right situation, but is it too good to be true?

If a beneficiary dies, the property will not pass to their children! In Oregon the current rule is that the deed must pass to a named and identifiable person, not to a group like “my children”. Great care is needed to make sure such a transfer is valid.

There is an 18 month waiting period before receiving “clean” title. Creditors, unhappy heirs, and others have 18 months to sue over the property creating a cloud on the title. This may make selling the property incredibly difficult as title companies may not want to give their stamp of approval until after the waiting period.

While a transfer on death deeds avoids the need to probate that piece of property, it may still be subject to the debts of creditors if there are insufficient assets in the probate.

In short, great care is needed to evaluate whether this is the right tool for your estate. Not every repercussion is known about this rather new tool in Oregon. A knowledgeable and experienced attorney can help you evaluate transfer on death deeds and other options for your individual situation.

Matthew Matrisciano is the Attorney Owner of MGM Law Firm LLC. (541) 233-7441 – 869 NW Wall St Ste 203C, Bend, OR 97701. Nothing in this post shall constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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