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Columbus, Ohio Transfer On Death Designation Attorney

You may think that the only way to pass an asset or property on to someone else when you die is through a will, living trust, or probate.

However, there is an easier and more inexpensive method of passing on certain properties.

A ‘transfer on death designation’ (also known as a TOD) will allow you to do this in a simpler and perfectly legal way.

You can specifically have such a designation written for the deed of your home as well as vehicles, retirement accounts, and bank accounts.


Transfer On Death Designation Attorneys

The state of Ohio has certain legal requirements for a TOD to be legally binding.

Make sure that you have a transfer on death designation attorney to help you through it. Since it’s an important decision, make sure it is done legally. That way, it will be extremely hard for anyone to contest it. Your attorney will be sure to file the TOD appropriately.


Beneficiary Deed

Also known as a beneficiary deed, a transfer on death designation can include the following assets or properties:

  • Home

  • Vehicle

  • Bank Account

  • Retirement Account


TOD Designation Tips

  • A TOD is one of the more inexpensive methods of transferring property to another when you die, as opposed to a trust or probate. Be sure to describe any property accurately. For instance, describing a home or land as the same as it is described on the deed is a good idea.

  • If you have a spouse, or the property is owned by others including yourself, you may have to have their signatures on the TOD as well.

  • It’s not a good idea to put your beneficiaries directly on a deed or title etc., as those person(s) will then be co-owners before your death, and you may be subject to their creditors.

  • Since the beneficiary receives the property upon your death, it is not considered a gift, and will not be subject to a gift tax.

  • If you have a will, the TOD will take precedence over it, even if the will was created after the TOD.

  • As long as you live you will own and control any of your property and assets that have a transfer on death designation attached to them. That means you can do with it as you please such as modify, refinance or sell the asset.

  • You are responsible for maintaining the property or paying taxes on the asset until your death.

  • It’s a good idea to name a secondary or a contingent beneficiary, in case your first choice passes away before you do.


Contact Our Columbus TOD Attorneys

Having a transfer on death designation in place for your important assets is a good idea. It allows you to legally designate a beneficiary for your property without having to go through probate and is a simple and cost effective method of doing so.


What if I want to change the beneficiary of a TOD?

You can change or revoke a transfer on death designation at any time you wish.


Can I use a transfer on death designation to leave a certain property to a business or organization?

Yes. A TOD can be used to leave an asset to any person, charity, organization or business.


Can I leave a certain property to more than one entity or person?

Yes, you are allowed to do so with a TOD. Be sure you are specific with names to make sure there is no confusion or legal means to contest the designation. You can also leave a certain percentage of the property to different entities.


Does my beneficiary need to sign a TOD?

The beneficiary is NOT required to sign a transfer on death designation.


TOD Helpful Links:

Ohio Bar Association

 Franklin County Law Library

 Designating a Beneficiary

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