Three Inexpensive Ways to Avoid Probate in Texas

Many Texans seek to avoid the probate process to save time and money. While in many cases probate cannot be avoided, there are ways to transfer assets outside of probate. The following are three approaches that can be taken in Texas.


Transfer on Death Deed (TODD)

TODD isn’t just some guy who works in an office. A Transfer on Death Deed (TODD) is an inexpensive means of transferring title in real property outside of probate upon death. For example, a mother owns a house and wants to give that house to her son upon her death. In this simplified scenario, a Transfer on Death Deed would allow the mother to transfer title in the house to her son upon her death outside of probate and the courts. Although a TODD will not work in all situations, it can be a useful legal tool for those who meet the requirements of a Transfer on Death Deed.

Life Insurance

Obtaining life insurance can be a simple and economical means of providing loved ones with funds after a death without having to go through probate. Strictly speaking, life insurance is a contract between an insurance policy holder and an insurer, where the insurer promises to pay a designated beneficiary a sum of money in exchange for a premium, upon the death of an insured person. A Life insurance can be obtained through your local financial institution or your local insurance agency.

Joint Bank Accounts

Many banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions allow customers to designate a beneficiary on their account. In Texas, “Joint Tenants with Pay on Death Designation” on a bank accounts allows the assets in that account to transfer to the designated beneficiary upon the death of an account holder. When the account holder dies, the designated beneficiary becomes the account holder; a transfer that occurs outside of the probate process. Rules and policies regarding the “Joint Tenants with Pay on Death Designation” will vary from bank to bank. Please consult your local financial institution for more information.

The legal blogs, articles, and other posts should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state or jurisdiction. You should not act upon this information without seeking advice from a lawyer licensed in your own state or jurisdiction.

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