AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas Access to Justice Commission (TAJC) has launched a digital resource called the Texas Transfer Toolkit to help Texans with limited means transfer their home, car, or money in a bank account to a beneficiary upon their death.
“This resource will empower people to plan ahead and ensure their family is taken care of after they pass,” Trish McAllister, TAJC executive director, said. “Many people cannot afford the costly probate process, and the Texas Transfer Toolkit can help people avoid going through that process following the death of a loved one, making for stronger families and communities.”
Navigating probate court may be an unnecessary burden for those of limited financial means and assets. The Toolkit has the forms needed to transfer a car and a home, as well as instructions on how to transfer money in a bank account, to a surviving family member or friend and will ultimately help families recover following the death of a loved one. Although these forms exist individually, they aren’t located in one centralized place, which presents an obstacle that may prevent individuals from taking these steps.
The forms included in the Toolkit are the Transfer on Death Deed, which transfers title to a home, and the Beneficiary Designation for a Motor Vehicle and Application for Texas Title and/or Registration forms to transfer title of a vehicle. It also includes instructions to complete the paperwork and how to obtain a Payable on Death account form from their bank. Preparing these forms prior to a crisis can save time, money, and stress for those who are grieving.
This new resource is for people with very limited assets, not for those with more complex estate issues who will need a lawyer to help them ensure their wishes are followed after their death.
In addition to providing the Toolkit online, TAJC plans to integrate it into free legal aid clinics across the state to increase awareness about these forms.