Lisa and Jim's Northern Nevada Real Estate Blog: Transfer on Death Deed

Transfer on Death Deed

Can we avoid probate any other way than a trust?

Can we avoid probate any other way than a trust?

In Nevada there is another mechanism that allows your heirs to receive your property without probate other than by you creating and managing a trust. Nevada is one of but eight states in the nation that provide for Transfer on Death Deeds. It has only been available for a couple of years, and can be a very good tool for estate planning. We've only recently become aware of it and thank local attorney Karen Winter for introducing and orienting us to this means of conveyance.

With a Transfer on Death Deed (TODD) the owner(s) execute a deed and name the recipients of the property, those they intend to inherit it. The Deed must be recorded prior to the death of the owner. Once recorded, the owner may continue to do with the property what he wants with no restrictions. He can re-finance it, sell it, or even record another Transfer on Death Deed changing the recipients. If it is sold the TODD is voided. Likewise, if a subsequent TODD is recorded the first is voided. The owner even has the right to rescind the TODD at any time. For details read NRS 111.109. It is easy reading as far as laws go.

This is a reasonable tool for estates in which the real estate comprises the majority of the estate's value. What happens is on the demise of the owner the property is immediately conveyed so it is no longer a part of the estate. In many cases, the result of removing the real estate is the resulting estate value is small enough that probate is not required thus the heirs avoid the expense, time and aggravation of a probate. Note that the property is immediately conveyed - the Executor of the estate consequently has no power/effect on the new ownership of the property. The Executor may be an owner, but the property has absolutely no relationship to or with the estate.

Our Advice: Though the law specifically states a married grantee may receive title as "sole and separate property" without a quitclaim from their spouse, be advised that to get title insurance when selling the property you will likely need to get one. If you are considering using this tool be very careful in assessing who you are going to give your property to. You can give it to multiple parties in various ownership percentages, i.e.- one gets 16%, another 23%, etc. Understand, however, that you are creating a "partnership" of sorts which inherently creates a precarious situation. Make sure they get along. If they don't they may have to resort to a partition lawsuit to unwind their common interest. Make sure, too, that you address how the mortgage payment, taxes, insurance, utilities and maintenance will be paid while they own the property.

A Transfer on Death Deed can be the best and worst of things - think it through before you use it. Properly used it can put your mind at ease and save your heirs a lot of money, time and aggravation. Make your intentions and desires known, make a plan, and execute your plan. Questions? See your attorney and/or CPA.

Experience is Priceless! Lisa Wetzel & Jim Valentine, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates,, 775-781-5472.

Comment balloon 2 commentsLisa Wetzel • September 05 2007 10:32AM


The differences state to state were such a pain when I lived in the states. <a rel="follow" href="">Conveyancing</a> is a far simpler process in the UK I think.

Posted by Jim Trent about 9 years ago

Jim - I'm certain that one would need to know 50 different sets of law to understand the US.  A line on a map can make such a major difference in policy.  I live 5 miles from California and yet our foreclosure laws, our short sale laws, and many many others are so different!

Posted by Lisa Wetzel, CDPE, SFR (RE/MAX Realty Affiliates) about 9 years ago