Since 1995, eighteen states have passed new laws allowing you an easier "nonprobate"
method for leaving real estate to your heirs. These states are: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado,
Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin.
This new method of leaving real estate to your heirs involves signing a new deed for your house. Depending on your state, this new deed is called a "transfer on death deed", a "beneficiary deed",
or a similar name. You sign the deed before a notary public, have it recorded at the court house in the county where your property is located, and then upon your death, the deed automatically transfers your real estate to whomever you named as beneficiary in the deed. This automatic transfer prevents the house or land from having to go through the probate process, thus avoiding delay and cost of probate.
Nonprobate.com offers downloadable transfer on death deed forms for
18 states. Most of the forms are prepared by U.S. Legal Forms,
Inc. and cost $24.95. The forms can be accessed from the links shown below.