Navigational bar Return to the Self Help Services: Probate home page Probate Forms Glossary of Probate Terms Alaska Court System website
Court System Home » Representing Yourself » Probate Home » Transfer on Death Deed

Transfer on Death Deed

What does the Transfer on Death (TOD) deed do?

When you die, this deed transfers the described real property, subject to any liens or mortgages (or other encumbrances) on the property at your death. Probate is not required. The TOD deed has no effect until you die. You can revoke it at any time. You are also free to transfer the property to someone else during your lifetime. If you do not own any interest in the property when you die, this deed will have no effect.

Return to top of page

Do I have to file the TOD deed in court?

No. Before death, the property owner must record the TOD deed at the recorder’s office in the recording district where the property is located. After the person’s death. the property with the TOD deed does not need to go through probate in court because the title will automatically transfer to the person named in the TOD deed.

However, if the person’s estate had other real property or personal property that did not automatically transfer title upon death, that property may need to be probated in court.

Return to top of page

How do I make a TOD deed?

Complete the:

Sign the deed in front of a notary public or other individual authorized by law to take acknowledgments. Record the form in each recording district where any part of the property is located. The form has no effect unless it is acknowledged and recorded before your death.

Return to top of page

Is the "legal description" of the property necessary?

Yes.

Return to top of page

How do I find the "legal description" of the property?

This information may be on the deed you received when you became an owner of the property. This information may also be available in the office of the recorder in the recording district where the property is located. If you are not sure, consult a lawyer.

Return to top of page

Can I change my mind before I record the TOD deed?

Yes. If you have not yet recorded the deed and want to change your mind, simply tear up or otherwise destroy the deed.

Return to top of page

How do I "record" the TOD deed?

Take the completed and acknowledged form to the office of the recorder in the recording district where the property is located. Follow the instructions given by the recorder to make the form part of the official property records. If the property is in more than one recording district, you should record the deed in each recording district.

Return to top of page

Can I later revoke the TOD deed if I change my mind?

Yes. You can revoke the TOD deed. Except for a court, no one, including the beneficiaries, can prevent you from revoking the deed.

Return to top of page

How do I revoke the TOD deed after it is recorded?

There are three ways to revoke a recorded TOD deed:

  1. Complete and acknowledge a Revocation of Transfer on Death Deed form and record it in each recording district where the property is located.
  2. Complete and acknowledge a new Transfer on Death Deed form that disposes of the same property, and record it in each recording district where the property is located.
  3. Transfer the property to someone else during your lifetime by a recorded deed that expressly revokes the TOD deed. You may not revoke the TOD deed by will.

Return to top of page

I am being pressured to complete this form. What should I do?

Do not complete this form under pressure. Seek help from a trusted family member, friend, or talk to a lawyer.

Return to top of page

Do I need to tell the beneficiaries about the TOD deed?

No, but it is recommended. Secrecy can cause later complications and might make it easier for others to commit fraud.

Return to top of page

Does the estate have to go through probate if there is TOD deed?

If the real property had a TOD deed recorded before the person died, it will transfer to the beneficiaries named in the deed and is not included in the probate of the estate. However, other property owned by the person who died which does not pass automatically to a survivor must go through probate.

Return to top of page

I have other questions about this form. What should I do?

This form is designed to fit some but not all situations. If you have other questions, should talk to a lawyer.

Return to top of page


Rev. 21 July 2014
© Alaska Court System
www.courts.alaska.gov
webmaster@akcourts.us
Adobe Acrobat PDF logo You'll need to download a free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to view and print documents with this symbol. If you are using a screen reader, get support and information at the Adobe Access website.