Recording requires you to pay $316.50 per recorded deed (plus postage for delivery and return to you) and wait months for the original (you can’t print out a copy) to be recorded by mail. 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 a day for $400 payable by credit card at this LawPay Link (as of January 01, 2024).
You can execute the Transfer on Death Deed (TODD) via Docusign. If you don’t have legal insurance, the cost of preparation of the TODD is $350 for a total cost of $750 including recording.
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 contains $100,000 or less, then no probate is required to be filed. Assets can be transferred with an Affidavit of Small Estate.
The Beneficiaries will still need to complete and record the Real Estate Excise Tax Affidavit (REETA) 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 through a TODD, are taxable for estate tax purposes.
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.
While the REETA is submitted to the Department of Revenue by the County, it is sent to the REET section for review. The REETA 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.
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