What is a Transfer on Death Deed (TOD Deed) and How Do Work in Washington State

A transfer on death (TOD) deed is a legal document that allows property owners in Washington state to transfer ownership of their property to one or more beneficiaries upon their death, without the need for probate court proceedings. This type of deed is a useful tool for estate planning, as it allows property owners to ensure that their property will pass to their chosen beneficiaries in a timely and cost-effective manner.

When a TOD deed is executed, the property owner retains full control over the property and can sell, mortgage, or otherwise dispose of it during their lifetime. However, when the property owner dies, the property automatically transfers to the beneficiaries named in the deed, without the need for court approval or the involvement of an executor or administrator.

A TOD deed can have multiple beneficiaries, this means that a property owner can name more than one person to receive their property upon death. The owner can name beneficiaries and specify the percentage of the property each one will receive. This can be useful if the property owner wants to leave different percentages of their property to different beneficiaries or if the property owner wants to leave their property to multiple beneficiaries.

It is important to note that, the beneficiaries named in the TOD deed have no rights to the property until the death of the property owner, also, it does not affect the rights of the property owner or the beneficiaries during the owner's lifetime.

A TOD deed can be executed in Washington State by completing the form provided by the county auditor and recording it with the county auditor’s office. It's also important to consult a lawyer before proceeding with the execution of TOD Deed. The TOD deed must be signed by the property owner in front of a notary public and should also include a legal description of the property.

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