October 19, 2021

Volume XI, Number 292

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October 18, 2021

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Transfer on Death Deeds Now Valid in Texas

Texas property owners now have a new tool to avoid probate. Effective September 1, 2015, Texas Estate Code Section 114.151 allows for Transfer on Death Deeds. Lawmakers believe this provision will provide a simplified process for the non-probate transfer of real estate.

A Transfer on Death deed operates the same as any other conveyance, except that title does not pass to the grantee until the grantor’s death.  The property conveyed passes outside of the grantor’s estate.  To be effective, a Transfer on Death Deed must be signed, notarized, and recorded in the deed records of the county where the property is located prior to the death of the grantor. It may not be created through the use of a power of attorney. An unrecorded Transfer on Death Deed is ineffective to convey property. The statute permits the naming of alternative beneficiaries in the Transfer on Death Deed; however, the statute does not permit a grantor to convey under complicated distribution provisions or to several people in varying percentages. If the grantor changes his or her mind, a Transfer on Death Deed may be revoked by the filing of a “Cancellation of Transfer on Death Deed” form or by the recording of a subsequently executed conveyance of the same property. A Transfer on Death Deed may not be revoked by a will.

© Steptoe & Johnson PLLC. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume V, Number 261
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About this Author

Don Hueske, Environmental Attorney, Steptoe Johnson Law Firm
Member

Don Hueske focuses his practice in the area of mineral title law and has extensive experience in title examination and due diligence for acquisitions and financing issues, as well as the management and oversight of those providing similar services.  He routinely prepares original, supplemental and division order title opinions, and has assisted in the negotiation and drafting of leasehold assignments, farmout and joint operating agreements and various curative instruments, as well as master service agreements.  A survivor of over thirty years in the energy industry (and...

(281) 203-5755
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