It is now possible for the owners of real estate to designate on a deed of real estate a transfer on
death (TOD) beneficiary or beneficiaries. Once the deed is recorded with the county clerk it will
transfer ownership of the creator of the deed upon his or her death. The deed need only be signed
the owner of the property. The TOD beneficiary is not required to sign the deed and is not required
to be given notice. The owner of the real estate remains in control of the real property until his or
her death and the TOD beneficiary has no ownership right to the property.
A transfer on death deed is required to have the following language:”(Name of Owner) being of
competent mind and having the legal capacity to execute this document, as owner transfers on death to (Name of Beneficiary) as grantee beneficiary, the following described interest in real estate: [legal description].
“THIS TRANSFER-ON-DEATH DEED IS REVOCABLE. IT DOES NOT TRANSFER ANY OWNERSHIP UNTIL THE DEATH OF THE OWNER. IT REVOKES ALL PRIOR BENEFICIARY DESIGNATIONS BY THIS OWNER FOR THIS INTEREST IN REAL ESTATE. THE GRANTOR HAS THE RIGHT TO WITHDRAW OR RESCIND THIS DEED AT ANY TIME. ANY BENEFICIARY NAMED IN THIS DEED IS HEREBY ADVISED THAT THIS DEED MAY BE WITHDRAWN OR RESCINDED WHETHER OR NOT MONEY OR ANY OTHER CONSIDERATION WAS PAID OR GIVEN.”
In addition to the above language a TOD deed is required to have two witnesses and the acknowledgment must conform to that set out in the statute, which is similar to the acknowledgment used for a will.
The owner of the property may revoke the TOD designation by recording a revocation or by recording a new TOD deed for the property. Any subsequent TOD deed for the property revokes all prior TOD deeds. No notice of the revocation of a TOD deed is required to be given to the previous TOD beneficiary.
The will of the owner of the real estate does not affect the validity of the TOD deed. The will cannot revoke the TOD deed.
Following the death of the owner an affidavit is required to be recorded with the county clerk. Probate is not required. The affidavit must be signed by the TOD grantee or grantees. The affidavit should be similar in form to the affidavit used to remove the name of a deceased joint tenant. A death certificate and Oklahoma estate tax release may be required.
If the TOD beneficiary does not survive the property owner, the TOD deed is disregarded.