This Act is a substitute for House Bill No. 147. Like House Bill No. 147, this Act provides a mechanism for the nonprobate transfer of real estate. This is done by permitting an owner of an interest in real estate to execute and record a transfer on death (TOD) deed designating a beneficiary who will automatically receive the real estate on the owner's death without a probate procedure. During the owner's lifetime the beneficiary of a TOD deed has no interest in the real estate and the owner retains full power to transfer or encumber the real estate or to revoke the deed.
Like House Bill No. 147, this Act adopts the Uniform Real Property Transfer on Death Act authored by the Uniform Law Commission. The Uniform Law Commission “provides states with non-partisan, well-conceived and well-drafted legislation that brings clarity and stability to critical areas of state statutory law.” The Uniform Real Property Transfer on Death Act has been enacted in 18 states (including Virginia) and the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and a substantially similar law has been enacted in 11 states. The Uniform Real Property Transfer on Death Act is pending before 3 state legislatures and has been enacted in New Hampshire and Utah this year.
This Act differs from House Bill No. 147 as follows:
(1) By making clear that a transfer of death deed takes precedence over any contrary instruction in a will to transfer the same property.
(2) By making clear in the optional forms included in this Act, which may be used to create a transfer on death deed or revoke a transfer on death deed, that a transferor is a grantor and a beneficiary is a grantee. This change is made to assist the Recorders of Deeds in integrating the forms in their computerized databases.
(3) By authorizing the Registers of Wills to adopt a form to be used by a beneficiary to provide notice of the death of a person whose property has transferred to the beneficiary by transfer on death deed.
(4) By authorizing a beneficiary to file with the Register of Wills the death certificate of a person whose property has transferred to the beneficiary by transfer on death deed.
(5) By making abundantly clear that which is already permitted under the law of this State, that a person may obtain from the Office of Vital Statistics a death certificate to establish their legal right to property and may disclose that death certificate to the Register of Wills to prove the person’s legal right to property.
(6) Under Section 3 of this Act, clarifying that an individual who executed a transfer on death deed does not die seized of the property and, therefore, the property is not required to be included on an inventory and appraisal to the Register of Wills.
(7) Making a clarification in § 5402 of Title 30 contained in Section 5 of this Act.
(8) Delaying the effect of this Act until 90 days after its enactment into law.
This Act also makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual.

Statutes affected:
Original Text: 12.612, 30.5401, 30.5402
HS 1 Original Text: 12.612, 12.1905, 30.5401, 30.5402