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Minnesota Transfer On Death Deed - For Motor Vehicles!

Minnesotans have had the ability to utilize a Transfer-On-Death deed, or “TOD” deed, for real estate since 2008. Now, you can use a TOD form for your motor vehicles.   

A TOD deed for real estate is an estate planning tool that allows for the transfer of title of real estate to a named beneficiary at the death of the owner/grantor, without the need of approval from a probate court. The TOD deed must be completed correctly and recorded in the County where the property is located in order for the document to be effective. Note, the TOD deed does not go into effect until the owner of the real estate dies, which is to say that a TOD deed is not effective nor does legal title pass when it is recorded. Rather, the property only changes hands upon the death of the owner/grantor. When the grantor dies and if the document was properly drafted and recorded, the property transfers automatically to the designated recipient.

Like a TOD deed for real estate, you can now use a TOD form for your motor vehicles to designate a beneficiary to receive your motor vehicle upon your death. The Minnesota Legislature recently enacted Minnesota Statutes section 168A.125, which establishes a TOD form so that vehicle owners can pass their vehicles onto their loved ones while avoiding probate. The Motor Vehicle TOD form went into effect July 2017.

If you own real estate or a motor vehicle, and probate avoidance or an easy transfer of title are estate planning goals, then a TOD may be a useful option to explore. TODs can be a low cost way to distribute real estate or motor vehicles at death, maintain control of the property during life, and avoid the time and expense of probate, especially for those with relatively simple estates. TODs should be drafted with care, as there are many requirements that must be met in order to avoid unintended consequences.

Contact us to see how these deeds can benefit your estate plan. 

Terrance Zawacki