Skip to main content

I want to pass on my house or land without a will.

Transfer on Death Deeds

Use this guide to create a Transfer on Death Deed that names who will inherit your property after you die.
Overview

Guide Overview

Warning: The information and forms in this guide are not a substitute for the advice and help of a lawyer.

This guide is designed to give you information about how to transfer property by using a Transfer on Death Deed. Before you use this guide, please read Transfer on Death Deed: Information and Answers.  

Common questions about Transfer on Death Deeds

It is important to learn about Transfer on Death Deeds so you know how to use one. 

Please read Transfer on Death Deed: Information and Answers.  The article will address questions such as:

  • What is a Transfer on Death Deed?
  • Does a Transfer on Death Deed affect my rights while I'm alive?
  • What if I own property with someone else?
  • Does a Transfer on Death Deed shield the property from creditors?
  • Many more...

Go to Transfer on Death Deed: Information and Answers.  

Oftentimes, people automatically go to their tax records when asked to obtain a legal description of their property. A legal property description should ALWAYS be obtained from an existing deed, and NOT tax records as these are oftentimes incomplete or inaccurate and can cause an otherwise properly filled out Deed to become null and void.  

Many people mistakenly believe that just because you are married in Texas and you own property together, that the surviving spouse automatically inherits the entire property. This is not the case. If you have a will, it will have to be probated in court to transfer the title. An alternative option is a Transfer on Death Dead to transfer the property to your spouse. 

It can be a mistake to put off filing a Transfer on Death Dead, especially if you are in poor health.  Unfortunately once a person has passed, or is deemed incompetent, a Transfer on Death Dead is no longer an option. A power of attorney can NOT be used to execute a Transfer on Death Dead for another person. It is beneficial for Texas landowners to have a Transfer on Death Dead drafted and filed as soon as possible. 

Instructions & Forms

Warning: The information and forms in this guide are not a substitute for the advice and help of a lawyer.

This checklist gives brief instructions on steps to take to prepare a Transfer on Death Deed. 

Checklist Steps

Obtain a copy of your existing deed from the county clerk’s office in the county where the property is located.

Decide on your primary and alternative beneficiaries.

  • The primary beneficiary is the person or persons (you can list more than one) who you want the property to pass to. An alternate beneficiary (you can list more than one) can be named in case the primary beneficiary does not survive you. Listing an alternate beneficiary is recommended, but not required.

Prepare your transfer on death deed. The Transfer on Death Deed forms are all available online

Sign the transfer on death deed in front of a notary.

  • One common place to find a notary is your local bank.
  • You must present identification such as a driver’s license or passport in person in order for a notary to complete the notarization.

File the deed at the county clerk’s office. 

  • File deed in the county clerk’s office where the property is located.
  • The clerk will charge a fee. Typical filing fees are $24 to $26 for the first page and $4 for each page thereafter.

Forms Required

Articles in this guide