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Christopher S. Mulvaney, Esq.

Recording requires you to pay $104.50 per recorded deed (plus postage for delivery and return to you) and wait 4-5 months for the original (you can’t print out a copy) to be recorded by mail. This is because the Recorder’s office is not open during the pandemic. That is why I paid to belong to an electronic recording service that has a membership fee and a per document fee, so that I can record a copy for you in 1-2 days for $125 payable by credit card at this LawPay Link. In my opinion, that is $20.50 extremely well spent.‘ A quitclaim deed costs $150 to record because of the preparation and recording of the Real Estate Excise Tax Affidavit (REETA).

You can execute the Transfer on Death Deed (TODD) via ZOOM. If you don’t have legal insurance, the cost of preparation of the TODD is $150 for a total cost of $275 including recording. If you complete and return the attached form then I can look up the parcel number and legal description and email you a draft for your review.

The Transfer on Death Deeds (TODD) is a legal method for avoiding probate, not taxes.  Washington state is a “no probate” state; meaning as long as no real estate is in the Estate, and the Estate is contains $100,000 or less, then no probate is required to be filed.  

The Beneficiaries will still need to complete and record the Real Estate Excise Tax (REET) Affidavit even though no excise tax will be owed. This was true even before 2014 when the TODD statute was enacted.

A TODD does not avoid estate tax.  The estate tax is a type of transfer tax for which there is not an exemption as there is for the excise tax.  This means any assets transferring at death, such as a through a TODD, are taxable for estate tax purposes. 

The IRS, explains transfer taxes on their website.  Below is a link to their explanation of estate tax.

https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/estate-tax

The biggest difference between a Revocable Trust and a TODD is protection for the Grantor.  Where a Revocable Trust offers some protections against creditors, a TODD does not.  

The links below both have good explanations of how a TODD works. 

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/instructions-completing-washington-transfer-death-deed.html

https://www.deedclaim.com/washington/tod-deed-form/

While the REET affidavit is submitted to the Department of Revenue by the County, it is sent to the REET section for review.  The REET affidavit is not shared with the Estate Tax section.  If an estate is over the filing threshold of the $2,193,000, it is the executor’s responsibility to file an estate tax return.

In 2014, the Washington State Legislature created the Uniform Real Property Transfer on Death Act (RCW 64.80).

Nolo has additional information.

Transfer on Death Deeds are not present transfers like Quitclaim Deeds.

Avoiding Probate and Washington State Estate Tax with a Transfer on Death Deed for Real Estate.

RCW § 64.80 is the Washington Uniform Real Property Transfer on Death Act. The most expensive asset to probate is typically the home of the deceased. A Transfer on Death Deed avoids probate and estate tax thus eliminating those costs for an unlimited number of pieces of real property of unlimited value. The transfer of property pursuant to a Transfer on Death Deed will be exempt from Washington Estate Tax, Federal Estate Tax, and real estate transfer tax, provided that a certified copy of the death certificate of the deceased is recorded along with an Excise Tax Affidavit to transfer title to beneficiaries. Beneficiaries take the property subject to liens, taxes, liabilities, and other encumbrances to which the decedent’s Estate is subject. The beneficiary receives a step-up in basis to the date-of-death value. The statute was created in 2014. Prior to that, quitclaiming to a revocable living trust was used to avoid just probate, but not estate tax.

A Transfer on Death Deed creates no present interest in the beneficiary to the property and does not affect the owner’s right to transfer or encumber the property. The Deed is moot if the property is sold.

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Legal Services Offered

While my practice is centered on helping consumers get out of debt and protect themselves and their families in the event of death or incapacity, I am happy to offer additional legal services to my existing estate planning and bankruptcy clients.

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I offer my clients legal counsel regarding foreclosure, buying and selling real estate, Transfer on Death Deeds, prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements, name changes, and real estate matters generally.  MULVANEY LAW OFFICES, PLLC does not do litigation.

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Are you worried about mounting debt? Or facing a Judgment, garnishment or foreclosure? Have you been putting off getting a Will for too long?

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I offer free and confidential initial legal consultations to potential bankruptcy and estate planning clients.

Please email me at chris@attorneymulvaney.com or use the form below to schedule your consultation.

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For more information about my practice in Bellevue, Washington, please consult my Blog.

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Mulvaney Law Offices, PLLC is located in Bellevue, Washington, representing estate planning & probate, chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcy, and real estate transactions clients in:

  • Seattle, Tacoma, Everett, Bellevue, Redmond, Renton, Issaquah, Sammamish, Maple Valley, Burien, SeaTac, and throughout King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties.