A transfer on death deed (known as a beneficiary deed in Colorado) is a document that allows you to pass ownership of property to an individual or entity without the necessity of probate. In Colorado, this document is defined as “a deed, subject to revocation by the owner, which conveys an interest in real property and which contains language that the conveyance is to be effective upon the death of the owner…”
How Do I Obtain a Beneficiary Deed?
The state of Colorado provides a substantive example of the form in Colorado Revised Statutes § 15-15-404. The form needs to be filled out in its entirety and signed before a public notary. You will then need to record the deed at the clerk and recorder’s office in the county where the property is located.
Should An Attorney Draft my Transfer on Death Deed?
It is highly recommended that you seek the help of an experienced attorney to assist with this process. Form outlines provided by the state often lack the nuance necessary to be applied to every individual’s situation. An experienced attorney will ensure that all necessary language is included and correctly expressed for your unique circumstance. Also, there are often many considerations to explore alongside the process of filing a beneficiary deed. An attorney who has been active with this type of law will know what questions to ask to help navigate setting up end-of-life arrangements most effectively.
Can a Beneficiary Deed be Revoked in Colorado?
Yes. Any beneficiary deed already filed with the clerk and recorder’s office can be revoked by the owner. Obviously this revocation must occur by the owner before the time of death and must also be recorded prior to death. In many cases, a revocation may not be the best option. It is often the case that another beneficiary be named instead. Be sure you understand all of the considerations you should make before moving forward with executing or revoking a beneficiary deed.
Is it Better to Use a Transfer on Death Deed?
This depends on your unique situation and we would encourage you to speak to an attorney if you’re unsure. For example, leaving a house to all of your children through a beneficiary deed will give them all equal rights to the property. This could result in the family being unable to come to a consensus on what to do with the property. However, if you use a will to leave the house to your children, an executor will be assigned. The executor will have the authority to make decisions in a timely manner.
Have More Questions?
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