For many people, the primary asset they have to pass on to their heirs is their home. Unfortunately, in most cases, that required a probate in Washington State. While probate is relatively inexpensive in Washington, this was still an expense that many families were not expecting and sometimes created a lot of hardship. Title companies used to commonly allow a family to use a Lack of Probate affidavit to transfer inherited real property, but this practice has become far less common as title companies have become more jittery and risk adverse in the last few years. The Washington State legislature recognized this problem and in the 2014 Session passed the Washington Uniform Real Property Transfer on Death Act. This Act allows a person to record a Transfer on Death Deed in the county records where the real property is located. The Deed is revocable, and allows the transferor to transfer Real Property to one or more beneficiaries effective at the transferor’s death. Granting or revoking a Transfer on Death Deed requires the same capacity required to make a will.
I believe this is an excellent option for people who don’t have a lot of assets other than the family home to pass on at their death. Of course, as with every law, there are subtleties and requirements that may not make it the right choice for everyone. For more information about this and other real estate issues, please contact my office.