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Transfer on Death Deed Replaced: Since 2000, Ohio law has allowed property owners to avoid the probate process with a transfer on death deed, a deed that automatically transfers real property to a designated beneficiary upon the death of the property owner. Under a new Ohio law, such transfers now require the preparation of an affidavit rather than a transfer on death deed. The new law also allows those who hold “survivorship rights” in property to transfer their rights upon death, which the previous law prohibited. This change can facilitate effective contingent beneficiary planning previously only available through the use of more involved estate planning strategies.

The changes occurred in S.B. 124, which became effective upon the governor’s signature on December 28, 2009. The Ohio State Bar Association’s Real Property Law Section proposed the changes to simplify the transfer on death process and remove confusion over the rights of those holding survivorship deeds.

Should everyone have a Trust? There is a significant amount of misinformation that regularly circulates, particularly amongst our senior population. Revocable Living Trusts are claimed by some attorneys and financial planners to be the most important estate planning tool. In certain cases, a Living Trust is an appropriate solution. However, an effective estate plan can be established without this added expense. An appropriate estate plan must be tailored to meet each individual’s specific situation. Contact me to develop an efficient, cost effective plan so that you and your family are prepared for life’s unexpected events.