Worst Case Scenario – TOD

Worst Case Scenario – TOD

Byline: Jacob Frizado & Katie Hicks

A man in Ohio passes away, owning real estate in Montgomery County. He had assured his daughter, an only child, that he had made and signed a TOD – Transfer on Death Designation – putting the house into her name at his passing.

The daughter goes through the motions of selling the property. The market is hot, and her Real Estate Agent quickly finds a buyer. They settle on a closing date. Soon, however, the daughter is contacted by the bank that holds dad’s mortgage with a foreclosure date. There is to be a sheriff’s sale of the house.

How did this happen? It turns out that dad had never bothered to have his signature on that “DIY” TOD notarized a technical requirement in the State of Ohio. Therefore, The TOD is invalid; the daughter never actually inherited the home through the TOD, and the Real Estate Agent never bothered to check who held the title! When she takes the TOD to the county to be recorded, they point out the missing Notary stamp and turn her away. With the foreclosure and the closing dates both on the horizon and within days of each other, the daughter desperately contacts an attorney.

What can be done? Well, lots of things, but nothing as cheap or easy as a properly executed Estate Plan. The family now faces hiring an attorney and opening a Probate Estate to retrieve the funds left over after the sheriff’s sale occurs.

How can you avoid this? If you want to guarantee your family doesn’t meet with undue difficulty after your passing, you really need to seek the advice of an Estate Planning Attorney – to create OR double-check your Estate Plan – and provide your loved ones with true peace of mind.

The attorneys at PSE can help. Don’t hesitate to contact us at pse@pselaw.com or call 937.223.1130.