A “Transfer on Death” Deed, or more accurately a “Deed Upon Death” as it is referred to in NRS 111.671, is a way to transfer property to your designated beneficiary. Rather than relying on a traditional will or revocable living trust to pass your real property, a transfer-on-death deed can be created in advance, signed by the property owner, and, designates who the property will go to upon the owner’s death. The up-side is these are always modifiable before death while the owner of the property has capacity. The last recorded deed governs, and, if the property is sold to a third party, the transfer-on-death deed is void so it will not impact the sale. When the owner dies, the property is automatically transferred to the beneficiary through the deed documents. This can be better than putting adult beneficiaries on title or jointly titling property. There are often overlooked tax ramifications to adding future heirs to title now – so be wary of those “good ideas” you hear about from folks who “know”.
Certainly, the beneficiary will have to provide a death certificate, but the property should pass outside of the Probate process. In fact, avoiding probate is one of the primary reasons to utilize a transfer-on-death deed, which usually just costs money and time no one has to spare.
Not all states allow for a “Deed Upon Death” automatic transfer, but in 2011, Nevada law clarified this means of transferring real property. While normally a revocable living trust is the most effective means of avoiding probate for your estate, depending on the type of assets in your estate, and your goals, this is a low cost way to handle real property transfers to heirs.