In Mississippi, the only way to keep real property from going through some form of probate at the owner’s death was to place the land in a trust or put another owner on the deed. That was then, but this is now. As of July 2020, a property owner can name a beneficiary of real property while retaining full ownership and avoiding probate at death.
The Mississippi Real Property Transfer-on-Death Act is codified as Mississippi Code Section 91-27-1 et seq. and provides that “An individual may transfer the individual’s interest in real property to one or more beneficiaries effective at the transferor’s death by a transfer-on-death deed.” Joint owners may execute a transfer-on-death (TOD) deed that will be effective at the death of the last surviving owner.
Section 91-27-23 states that a TOD deed does not affect the owner’s right to deed or mortgage the property or any homestead rights or tax exemptions or creditors’ liens on the property while the owner lives. The owner or surviving joint owner may revoke the deed prior to death by means of another deed of the property or a recorded revocation instrument.
Section 91-27-27 of the statute establishes that, at the owner’s death, the beneficiary or beneficiaries named in the TOD deed become owners of the property, subject to any liens on the property. The advent of the transfer-on-death deed allows Mississippi property owners freedom to control their properties and determine the successor owners without adding other persons on the deeds. It provides a new probate-avoidance method for transfer of title to children or other desired beneficiaries.