Ohio Transfer on Death Deed

In August 2000, the Ohio General Assembly approved the “Transfer on Death Deed” in the State of Ohio. The Ohio Transfer on Death Deed allows a property owner to transfer his or her property to beneficiaries named in the deed when the property owner dies. The obvious benefits to the Ohio Transfer on Death Deed are: (1) the property is passed to the heirs without having to get the courts involved with the probate process, and (2) there are no gift tax consequences like there might be using a Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship. The transfer is still subject to estate taxes.

Requirements for Valid Transfer on Death Deed There are several requirements that must be met before a Transfer on Death Deed is will be recognized in Ohio. Among the requirements are: (1) The deed must name the beneficiary or beneficiaries of the property (a contingent beneficiary may be named should one of the beneficiaries die before the property owner); (2) The deed must be properly executed; and (3) The deed must contain the language prescribed under the Ohio Revised Code §5302.22

Beneficiaries Must Survive Property Owner Only beneficiaries who survive the property owner may inherit the property. This means you cannot designate a class of people, such as “all of my children” or “all of my lineal descendants, per stirpes,” the way you can in your Will or Trust. The birth of additional children born after the Transfer on Death Deed was executed may mean a new deed will need to be executed.

Affidavit of Death When the property owner passes away, the surviving beneficiaries must file an affidavit with the county recorder in the county where the land is located. Once the affidavit is recorded the property is owned by the surviving beneficiaries A certificate of death must accompany the affidavit. The affidavit must: (1) state that the owner of record is deceased; (2) identify the property; (3) name all beneficiaries who survived the property owner; and (4) name all beneficiaries who did not survive the property owner.

Other Significant Aspects to the Transfer on Death Deed (1) If there are multiple surviving beneficiaries the become co-owners with equal shares in the property; (2) The surviving beneficiaries take the property subject to any liens, encumbrances, or other rights of creditors; and (3) The Transfer on Death Deed does not give a beneficiary any legal interest in the property during the property owner’s lifetime. The beneficiary has no ownership rights until the property owner dies.
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