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Legal Planning

Transferring Real Estate

Minnesota Statute 507.071, effective August 1, 2008, authorizes recording of a Transfer on Death Deed that conveys or assigns an interest in real property to a grantee beneficiary and expressly states that the deed is only effective on the death of one or more of the grantor owners. The grantor’s interest transfers to the grantee beneficiary upon the death of the grantor owner. 

The interest transferred after death is subject to all effective conveyances, assignments, contracts, mortgages, deeds of trust, liens, security pledges, judgments, tax liens and other encumbrances to which the property was subject during the grantor owner’s lifetime, including any claim by a surviving spouse.

These deeds may be recorded without certification by the County Auditor as to transfer of ownership and current and delinquent taxes. No Certificate of Real Estate Value is required. They are exempt from state deed tax.

The statute includes many additional provisions, including survivorship requirements; revocation or modification of the deed; requirements regarding multiple joint tenant grantors; and multiple Transfer on Death Deeds for the same real property.

After a Transfer on Death Deed becomes effective, the following documents must be recorded in each county where the property is located: an Affidavit of Identity and Survivorship; a certified copy of a death certificate for each grantor owner; and a Clearance Certificate for the property that has been obtained for each grantor owner from the county medical assistance agency where the property is located.

A Transfer on Death Deed may be used in lieu of a will or together with a will and therefore customers should consult a competent Estate Planning/Probate attorney for advice. A Transfer on Death Deed may or may not be the right document to use as part of a customer's estate plan.

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