What is a Transfer on Death Deed in West Virginia?

What is a Transfer on Death Deed in West Virginia?

In 2014, Transfer on Death Deeds became legal in West Virginia pursuant to the passage of the Uniform Real Property Transfer on Death Act, which can be found in WV Code §36-12 et seq.  A Transfer on Death Deed allows a person to transfer real property to one or more beneficiaries or contingent beneficiaries at the time of their death.  You can sign and record a transfer on death deed now, but it does not take effect until your death.  So, you can sell the property or revoke the deed at any time, as the beneficiary does not have any rights until your death.  A Transfer on Death Deed does not require a probate proceeding, which is attractive to many people.  However, there are pros and cons to using these Deeds, so it is important to speak with an attorney to determine if this is right for you. 

Pursuant to WV Code §36-12-9, a Transfer on Death Deed must contain the essential elements and formalities of a properly recordable inter vivos deed; must state that the transfer to the designated beneficiary is to occur at the transferor's death; and must be recorded before the transferor's death in the office of the clerk of the county commission in the county where the property is located.

Prior to Transfer on Death Deeds becoming legal, many people would have a deed prepared creating a life estate with a remainder interest.  However, this allows the beneficiary to have an interest in the property during the grantor’s lifetime, which means that the beneficiary would have to consent to any financial decisions regarding the property, such as a mortgage, lien, sale, etc….

There are many other pros and cons to using Transfer on Death Deeds.  There are also many factors to consider.  So before deciding whether a Transfer on Death Deed is right for you, contact an attorney to discuss your particular situation.

  A Transfer on Death Deed allows a person to transfer real property to one or more beneficiaries or contingent beneficiaries at the time of their death. Jodi Cunningham explains.