Oftentimes it’s important to folks with estates worth less than a million dollars to avoid probate (the major concern being the cost and delay of the probate).To avoid probate, their assets must be set up as non-probate assets such as (a) designated beneficiary on life insurance policies and retirement benefits, and (b) bank accounts, CD’s, and investment accounts that are either joint, or payable or transferred on death to designated parties.Historically, real estate assets were a problem.Several years ago the legislature enacted a law that allows for a Transfer on Death Deed (TODD) for real estate which works like the POD or TOD for bank accounts, CD’s, and investment accounts. A deed, using the TODD form, is signed by the owner/owners of the real estate transferring the real estate to designated heirs. The deed is then recorded with the County Recorder’s office. However, it is not effective until the death of the owner/owners; and prior to death, the owner/owners can revoke the TODD, and can sell or mortgage the property without the involvement of the heirs.Upon the death of the owners, the real estate passes to the heir without the necessity of a probate.In the right situation, the TODD deed is an excellent estate planning tool. For more information, stop in or call us at (320) 763-3141.