Is Transfer On Death needed by a spouse?

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Is Transfer On Death needed by a spouse?

I inherited property from my side of the family. My husband is not listed as owner/co-owner on this property in my name only. Do I need to file a Transfer on Death to ensure the property transfers automatically to him if I pass away? There are no other living heirs or children.

Asked on October 8, 2018 under Estate Planning, Kansas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

If you and he are married and there are no children, then when you pass, he will inherit everything you own, including the property, under the rules for "intestate succession," or who inherits what when there is no will. (In the absence of any children of the deceased, a surviving spouse inherits everything.) And/or you can create a will leaving him this property (and anything else you want), since property is distributed according to a will. So you could certainly do what you suggest, but it does not appear necessary. That said, there may be some advantages to making this TOD, since that may allow him to bypass having to probate the property. It would a good idea to consult with a trusts and estates or estate planning attorney, so see how to streamline the process of him receiving the property if anything happens to you, as well as minimize costs and taxes.


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