Is ‘Transfer Upon Death’ Legal in New York State?
I keep seeing something shared on Facebook, so I looked into the legalities of it, while the list of suggestions of everything that you should put into order to make things easier for your loved ones after you pass, are the legal? Can you do them?
While everyone is super quick to share, because the information appears to be a great idea, and most of the items that are covered in the Facebook posts, maybe you should take one second (or a minute or two) and read the items before you share the post.
The Facebook post that says "Do this" to make things easier after you die:
Here is what the Facebook post says, and most of the suggestions are 100% spot on for what you should do.
For those of you that don’t have your affairs in order, here’s a list that can help:
1) Make sure all bank accounts have direct beneficiaries. The beneficiary will only need go to the bank with your death certificate and their ID.
2) TOD = Transfer On Death deed if you own a home. Completing this document and filing it with your county saves your heirs THOUSANDS!!! This document allows you to transfer ownership of your home to your designee. All they need to do is take your death certificate and their ID to the county building and have the deed signed over. Doing this will avoid the home having to go through probate.
3) Living Will: Allows one to put in writing exactly what you want done in the event you cannot speak for yourself when it comes to healthcare decisions.
4)Durable Power of Attorney: Allows one to designate a person to make legal decisions if one is no longer competent to do so. AND Power of Attorney for Healthcare: This document allows one to designate someone to make healthcare decisions for their person.
5) Last Will & Testament: Designates to whom personal belongings will go too. Make sure it is hand written and signed. Or printed, notarized and signed to be valid.
6) Funeral Planning Declaration: allows one to say exactly one’s wishes as far as disposition of the body and services.
If the above documents are done, you can AVOID probate.
The above is a portion of the Facebook post that I have been circulating for the last few months. Again, I do not disagree that everyone should do whatever they can to have their 'affairs in order' to the extent that the person can do so.
What does New York State say about "Transfer on Death" property deeds?
New York State says "Nope, can't do it."
While you should always double-check with an Estate Lawyer, you can put your home into a trust or add the name of the person to whom you want to get your property to the deed before you pass. The reason that you might not want to do the latter is that person would then potentially have a legal controlling interest in your property while you are alive. Then they too could be held responsible for any taxes, fees, lawsuits, repairs, etc. on the property that you own, while you are alive.
Again, should you trust the legal information that you get on Facebook? Always double-check the legality of what people are sharing, before you start sharing the info or believing the info.
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