Q: In one of your articles you wrote about Transfer On Death (TOD) deeds not being accepted for real estate in Florida. As a Florida resident, I have some further questions concerning this matter.
I live in a mobile home. It is a resident-owned park where we the residents all own the park. We buy shares in it when we become a resident. On the title for my mobile home, I have a TOD on it. There is no mortgage on the home. I also have other assets recorded in the same manner.
My question is: Does a TOD only apply to real property and not mobile homes?
A: There are two basic types of property: personal property, including items like furniture, artwork, stock certificates and bonds; and, real property, which refers to real estate. If you own the land on which your mobile home sits, and it is permanently attached to the land, it is considered real property. But if your mobile home sits on a rented lot, it is considered personal property.
Many states have passed TOD (transfer on death) laws for personal property like stock certificates, bank accounts, etc. But only a handful of states permit real property to be transferred in this way. I’m not sure why this is. It’s an easy and inexpensive way to transfer property upon someone’s death. I do know that there is a movement to study this issue further so perhaps over the next few years more states will adopt this code.
For more details, please talk to a real estate attorney or estate attorney.