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Estate Planning


Understanding the Pros and Cons of Executing a Transfer on Death Deed in Texas

Understanding the Pros and Cons of Executing a Transfer on Death Deed in Texas


Troy Moore

November 3, 2023

November 3, 2023

Understanding the Pros and Cons of Executing a Transfer on Death Deed in Texas


When planning for the future and the eventual transfer of your property, it's crucial to understand all the tools at your disposal under Texas law. One such tool is the Transfer on Death Deed (TODD), governed by Texas Estates Code Section 114.051. As a legal document, a TODD allows property owners to pass on their real estate to a beneficiary without the need for a will or probate. In this article, our seasoned Transfer on Death Deed lawyers in Texas will explore the pros and cons of executing a TODD, ensuring you make informed decisions about your estate planning.

What is a Transfer on Death Deed in Texas?

A Transfer on Death Deed is a legal document that allows individuals to name a beneficiary who will receive their property upon their death, without going through probate. This deed is revocable and does not take effect until the death of the owner, offering a streamlined approach to transferring property. Under Texas Estates Code Section 114.051, the deed must be recorded before the death of the owner in the county where the property is located to be effective.

Pros of a Transfer on Death Deed:

1. Avoids Probate: One of the primary benefits of a TODD is that it allows the property to bypass the often lengthy and costly probate process, ensuring a quicker transfer to the beneficiary.

2. Retains Control: Until your passing, you retain full control over the property. You can sell, lease, or mortgage the property as you see fit without the beneficiary's consent.

3. Flexibility: If your circumstances change, you can revoke or amend the TODD without needing the beneficiary's agreement.

4. Simplicity: Executing a TODD is relatively straightforward and does not require the complex processes involved in creating and maintaining a trust.

5. Cost-Effective: By avoiding probate, you can potentially save significant money on court fees and legal costs.

Cons of a Transfer on Death Deed:

1. May Not Avoid Legal Challenges: Beneficiaries of the TODD or omitted heirs may still contest the deed, leading to legal complications.

2. No Medicaid Eligibility Protection: A TODD does not protect the property from being counted for Medicaid eligibility, which might affect long-term care planning (if this applies to you, then see our other article on how to plan for bypassing Medicaid Estate Recovery Program claims through a Ladybird Deed by Clicking Here);

3. No Contingencies: Unlike a will, a TODD does not allow for contingent beneficiaries if the primary beneficiary predeceases the owner.

4. Potential Family Conflicts: If not all family members or heirs are included as beneficiaries, it could lead to disputes and possible litigation.

5. Debts and Liens: The property transferred via a TODD is still subject to debts and liens against the estate, which may burden the beneficiary.


Executing a Transfer on Death Deed in Texas can be a beneficial estate planning tool, but it's not without its potential drawbacks. Considering the nuances of Texas Estates Code Section 114.051, it's wise to consult with a knowledgeable Transfer on Death Deed lawyer who can offer personalized advice and ensure that your estate plan aligns with your wishes and legal requirements.

For comprehensive legal guidance and to explore whether a TODD is right for your estate plan, contact our experienced Texas probate attorney today. We are committed to navigating you through the complexities of estate planning with the dedication and expertise you deserve. Additionally, for comprehensive help with your complete estate plan, a TODD is the chief component of our Probate Avoidance Package, which addresses all your needs before and upon death. Please watch our video for a full estate planning consultation that includes prices at the end -- you can watch that video by Clicking Here as well.

Are you considering a Transfer on Death Deed for your property in Texas? Reach out to our expert Transfer on Death Deed lawyers for a consultation and secure your legacy with confidence. Just click "Contact Us" anywhere you see it on this page and we will be thrilled to hear from you :)

Understanding the Pros and Cons of Executing a Transfer on Death Deed in Texas

November 3, 2023

November 3, 2023

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