The Hive Law

What Is A Transfer On Death Deed In Georgia?

Transfer On Death Deed Georgia - What Is A Transfer On Death Deed - Problems With Transfer On Death Deeds

What is a transfer on death deed in Georgia?

And how do you use one?

This article is going to cover things like:

  • how long do you have to transfer property after a death
  • how to transfer property after the death of a parent
  • how to change a deed on a house after the death of a spouse
  • whether you can transfer a deed to a house with a mortgage
  • can a transfer on death deed be contested

Let’s dig in.

Get A FREE Consultation!
We run out of free consultations every month. Sign up to make sure you get your free consultation. (Free $350 value.)

Transfer On Death Deed In Georgia

Georgia transfer on death deeds only work for stocks and bonds.

They do not allow you to pass down real estate.

Real property can only avoid probate with a living trust in Georgia.

Or if married couples own the property in joint tenancy.

And the surviving spouse automatically gets full ownership of the property.

In this article, “property” will refer to stocks and bonds.

What Is A Transfer On Death Deed (TOD)?

A transfer on death deed allows you to transfer property to a beneficiary.

And the TOD allows those assets to avoid the probate process.

TODs are very similar to payable on death (POD) accounts.

Payable on death accounts are things like:

  • retirement accounts
  • life insurance policies
  • bank accounts

Georgia transfer on death deeds work for brokerage accounts with stocks and bonds.

Georgia’s transfer on death deeds don’t go into effect until the owner dies.

Once you pass away, the ownership of the property transfers to the new owner.

And it skips time-consuming probate court proceedings.

Something to note…

TODs in Georgia are also called beneficiary deeds.

These two terms are interchangeable.

How Do TODs Work In Georgia?

A transfer on death deed works the same as a payable on death bank account.

When the grantor dies, the property automatically transfers to the named beneficiary.

This allows the property to avoid probate in Georgia.

You will keep complete ownership of the property while you’re alive.

The deed looks like other quit claim deeds in Georgia.

The difference is an additional clause that these have.

The clause states that the deed does not go into effect until your death.

To make a transfer on death deed valid in Georgia, you have to:

  • sign it in front of two witnesses
  • have it notarized
  • file it with the county recorder at your local County Clerk’s office

When you die, ownership of the property immediately and automatically transfers.

Again, TODs only work for stocks and bonds in Georgia.

They cannot get used to pass down real estate and avoid those probate proceedings.

You can also change your beneficiary designations at any time.

Fill out the form on this page to have our estate planning attorneys handle this for you.

Advantages Of Transfer On Death Deeds

Transfer on death deeds are advantageous if you:

  • want to protect your real property from going through probate
  • they are easy to create
  • you can change your mind and revoke the TOD
  • the property doesn’t need to go through probate to go to your beneficiaries

Problems With Transfer On Death Deeds in Georgia

There is a problem with transfer on death deeds in Georgia.

You lose control over the property and how it gets passed down.

Compare that to a living trust where you can:

  • set up the management of the real estate or brokerage accounts
  • defer the distribution for a later point in time
  • have someone invest on the behalf of your beneficiaries

These things can be important if you have beneficiaries who are:

  • minors
  • unable to manage finances very well
  • not financially literate enough to invest
  • incapacitated
  • receiving disability benefits

These TODs can also get hazy when it comes time to pass down the property.

Joint ownership of a property overrides a transfer on death deed.

The surviving spouse, that they hold it jointly with, would still own the property.

Even though the grantor has passed away already and triggered the TOD.

It’s important for BOTH spouses to create a transfer on death deed.

An estate planning attorney should create this for you.

Other Options For Transfer On Death Deed

You probably want pass down “real property” and avoid probate.

Real property is any land or real estate (investments or primary residence).

To avoid probate this way, you’ll need to set up a trust.

The trust will take ownership of your property.

And can get passed down to loved ones without going through probate.

Many people use this estate planning tool to pass assets to family members.

Fill out the form on this page to set up a trust for your property.

Transfer House Deed After Death

You can’t use a transfer on death deed in Georgia for real estate.

But you still need to transfer the house deed after death.

The property cannot stay in the deceased person’s name.

It has to get transferred from the decedent’s estate into the name of the beneficiary.

There are two scenarios for needing to transfer the house deed after death.

They are:

  • property owned in joint ownership
  • property not held in joint tenancy

Property held in joint ownership can be for married couples or business partners.

Surviving spouses will have “rights of survivorship” under Georgia law.

To get the property 100% in your name:

  • gather the deed showing joint tenant’s ownership of the property
  • gather the death certificate
  • file these with the county recorder at your County Clerk’s office

Let’s look at property NOT held in joint tenancy.

When the owner dies, the house goes into probate estate.

Meaning the probate estate owns it now and it has to get distributed.

To transfer the house deed after death, you have to:

  • determine who had beneficiary designations to get the house
  • gather the death certificate
  • gather a statement from the probate courts
  • file a new deed with the county recorder at your County Clerk’s office

Fill out the form on this page to get help with all of this.

Transferring Assets Before Death

There are a couple of ways to go about transferring assets before death.

They are:

  • gifting assets to loved ones
  • creating a new deed and giving that person joint tenants designations
  • place the assets in a living trust

How Long Do You Have To Transfer Property After Death?

You’re wondering how long do you have to transfer property after death.

In Georgia, the probate time limit is 5 years.

But, remember that the estate is responsible for managing the property.

And the estate has to have enough funds to float the property.

If the estate runs out of money, then you could lose the house.

You could lose the property to:

  • unpaid mortgages
  • unpaid property taxes
  • vandalism, squatters, or deterioration

It’s best to transfer property as quickly as possible after death.

Recording A Quit Claim Deed After Death

When recording a quit claim deed after death, you need to:

  • determine who had beneficiary designations to get the house
  • gather the death certificate
  • gather a statement from the probate courts
  • file a new deed with the county recorder at your County Clerk’s office

How To Change A Name On Deed After Death?

To change a name on a deed after death, you need to:

  • gather the title to the property
  • determine who had beneficiary designations to get the house
  • gather the death certificate
  • gather a statement from the probate courts
  • get a notarized affidavit of death
  • fill out a preliminary change of ownership form
  • file a new deed with the county recorder at your County Clerk’s office
  • pay the filing fees
  • get copies of the new title deed from the county

How To Transfer The Deed Of A House

We know we can’t use transfer on death deeds in Georgia for real estate.

So, let’s talk about how to transfer the deed of a house in Georgia.

How To Transfer A Property After Death Of Parent With A Will

How do you transfer property after the death of a parent when there is a will?

The house will be able to get passed to the designated beneficiary.

The courts will validate the will (this is easy if they have a self-proving affidavit).

They have to make sure that the will is valid and not a holographic will.

The executor will probate the will and make sure the property gets transferred per the will.

Executors have a fiduciary responsibility to follow the will when settling an estate.

How To Transfer A Property After Death Of Parent Without A Will?

But how do you transfer property if the parent doesn’t have a will?

In this case, the property gets transferred per Georgia’s inheritance laws.

But, the executor will also handle transferring the property when there is no will.

The executor just transfers the property per those intestate succession laws.

They will gather all the appropriate documents and file them with the county recorder.

This will transfer property after the death of a parent.

How To Change A Deed On A House After The Death Of A Spouse?

To change a deed on a house after the death of a spouse, you’ll need to gather:

  • the death certificate
  • a notarized affidavit of death
  • the title to the real estate

But this is only if you don’t have joint ownership with the deceased person.

What if you bought the house while you were married?

Married couples should own real estate as joint tenants with rights of survivorship.

With joint tenancy, you automatically take over 100% ownership of the property.

You will not have to change the deed on the house after the death of a spouse.

This will not mess up your estate planning in the state of Georgia, either.

Surviving spouses can still distribute the real estate to the designated beneficiaries.

FAQs About Georgia’s Transfer On Death Deed

How Do I Get A Transfer On Death Deed?

You can fill out the form on this page and get a transfer on death deed.

Does A Transfer On Death Deed Supersede A Will?

Yes, a transfer on death deed supersedes a will.

Even if someone is named a beneficiary, the TOD designation will receive the property.

Can A Transfer On Death Deed Be Contested?

Yes, you can contest a transfer on death deed.

You’ll need to work with an estate planning lawyer to contest a TOD.

Does Georgia Recognize Transfer On Death Deeds?

Georgia does recognize transfer on death deeds for stocks and bonds.

Georiga does not recognize transfer on death deeds for real estate.

Can You Transfer Deed To A House With A Mortgage

Yes, you can transfer the deed to a house with a mortgage.

Make sure you seek legal advice on how to do this.

Some lenders could call your loan due when this happens.

Get Your Georgia Transfer On Death Deed

Let’s say you want a reliable TOD deed and legal advice from a law firm.

Our experienced, Atlanta estate planning attorneys will create your TOD deed, which means:

  • you don’t have to worry about the official capacity of officers
  • you have confidence you have the correct transfer on death deed set up
  • you don’t have to hire a notary to show up to the signing
  • you don’t have to find witnesses to show up at the signing
  • you get FREE revisions for 30 days

Fill out the form below and we will reach out and get the ball rolling.

Talk soon.

Get A FREE Consultation!
We run out of free consultations every month. Sign up to make sure you get your free consultation. (Free $350 value.)
Share This Post With Someone Who Needs To See It