Transfer on Death Deed – The Transfer on Death Deed (TODD) is set up through the County Recorder in the county where real estate is located. This special deed allows the grantor/owner(s) of real property to pass the property directly to the beneficiary(ies), upon the death of the grantor/owner(s). This is a non-probate tool. The property owner(s) must set up the TODD in place of the traditional deed, so that the property passes directly to the beneficiary(ies). The TODD can be revoked and replaced at any time prior to the death of the owner(s). Where the owner(s) are married, both spouses must sign.
Payable on Death Accounts – Payable on Death (POD) designations are set up to provide that the accounts bearing this designation pass directly to the beneficiaries, upon the death of the account owner(s). Such accounts are often set up through banks, credit unions and the like. These designations can be revoked or removed at any time prior to the death of the account owner.
Beneficiary Designations – These designations are used with insurance policies, retirement accounts, and the like, to set up beneficiaries of the assets represented by these policies and accounts. The administrators of the accounts often have certain forms and/or requirements of their own, which dictate how these designations should be set up. There are tax considerations particularly regarding the retirement accounts. The grantor(s) should check with their financial institutions and perhaps with a tax professional, to ascertain the implications of the distribution of these assets.