Bill Summary for S 368 (2021-2022)

Summary date: 

Mar 29 2021

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2021
Senate Bill 368 (Public) Filed Monday, March 29, 2021
AN ACT TO ENACT THE UNIFORM REAL PROPERTY TRANSFER ON DEATH ACT AND TO ALLOW FOR THE DESIGNATION OF A BENEFICIARY ON VEHICULAR CERTIFICATES OF TITLE.
Intro. by Ford, Steinburg, Lazzara.

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Bill summary

Enacts Article 11 in GS Chapter 31, Uniform Real Property Transfer on Death Act.

Sets forth seven defined terms. Establishes that the Article does not affect any method of transferring property otherwise permitted by law.

Authorizes an individual to transfer property to one or more beneficiaries effective at the transferor's death by a transfer of death deed. Specifies that the transfer on death deed is revocable, even if the deed or another instrument contains a contrary provision. Clarifies that the transfer on death deed is nontestamentary. Requires the same capacity required to make a will to make or revoke a transfer on death deed.

Establishes the essential elements, formalities, and recordation required for a valid transfer on death deed. Establishes that a transfer on death deed is effective without evidence of valuable consideration received or notice or delivery to or acceptance by the designated beneficiary during the transferor's life, provided that the requirements of the Article are met.

Provides for revocation of a recorded transfer on death deed, in whole or in part, by an instrument that satisfies the criteria specified. Clarifies that a transfer on death deed made by joint owner is revoked only if revoked by all joint owners. Notes that the Article does not limit the effect of an inter vivos transfer of the property. 

Specifies six effects a transfer on death deed does not do during a transferor's life, including creating a legal or equitable interest in favor of the designated beneficiary. 

Provides rules governing property that is the subject of a valid transfer on death deed that is owned by the transferor at the time of the transferor's death absent controlling provisions in the transfer on death deed, the statute, or in Article 24 of GS Chapter 28A (120-Hour Survivorship Requirement; Revised Simultaneous Death Act), Article 1A of GS Chapter 30 (Surviving Spouses; Elective Share), and GS Chapter 31A (Acts Barring Property Rights). Transfers interest in the property to the designated beneficiary, or equal and undivided shares of concurrent interests in the property with no right of survivorship to designated beneficiaries. Provides for situations where a beneficiary does not survive the transferor. Specifies that the beneficiary takes the property subject to interests to which the property is subject at the transferor's death. Deems the recording of the transfer on death deed to be the date of the transferor's death for purposes of lien priority. Provides that the transfer on death deed becomes effective upon the death of the last surviving joint owner if a transferor is a joint owner. Clarifies that the transfer is without covenant or warranty of title regardless of what the transfer on death deed provides. 

Allows for a beneficiary to disclaim all or part of an interest pursuant to GS Chapter 31B (Renunciation of Property and Renunciation of Fiduciary Powers Act).

Provides for the enforcement of liability against property transferred at the transferor's death by a transfer on death deed if the transferor's probate estate is insufficient to satisfy statutory allowances or claims allowed against the estate. Provides for apportionment of the liability if more than one property is transferred by one or more transfer on death deeds.

Provides an optional form to create a transfer on death deed and an optional form of revocation.

Provides for the Article's relation to certain provisions of the federal Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act.

Amends GS 31A-1, which specifies certain persons that lose certain spousal rights, to include in the rights lost under the statute any right to property as a transferor or designated beneficiary of a valid transfer on death deed executed pursuant to Article 11, GS Chapter 31. 

Amends GS 31A-4, creating a new rule concerning barring slayers from testate or intestate succession and other rights. Provides that where the decedent has executed a valid transfer on death deed pursuant to Article 11, GS Chapter 31, and named the slayer as a designated beneficiary, the property passes to an alternative beneficiary or lapses, as governed by the executed deed.

Amends GS 31B-1, allowing a person who succeeds to a property interest as a designated beneficiary under a valid transfer on death deed executed pursuant to Article 11, GS Chapter 31, to renounce the property interest at any time by filing a written instrument under the provisions of GS Chapter 31B.

Enacts GS 20-72(d), allowing a registered owner of a vehicle to provide for the transfer of title to a vehicle upon the owner's death by including in the certificate of title the phrase "transfer on death to" or "TOD" followed by a designated beneficiary, subject to the rights of lienholders. In instances of joint ownership, requires signatures of all joint owners with vesting upon the death of the last joint owner. Allows changes or additions to the designated beneficiary at any time. Requires applying for a duplicate title to change the beneficiary. Makes conforming changes to include transfer of title upon death beneficiary designation to the identified transfers by operation of law under GS 20-77.

Applies to transfer on death deeds or beneficiary designations made before, on, or after the date of the effective date of the act by a transferor dying on or after the effective date of the act. Directs the Revisor of Statutes to print relevant portions of the specified official commentary and all explanatory comments of the drafters deemed appropriate.

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