Sen. Euer bill would help Rhode Islanders pass on their homes without probate


STATE HOUSE – While Rhode Islanders can avoid the costly and complex process of probate when they pass along financial assets like pension plans and life insurance policies to a named beneficiary, these mechanisms do not exist for Rhode Islanders looking to leave their home to a loved one after their death. Legislation sponsored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairwoman Dawn Euer would give Rhode Islanders this option.

“Rhode Islanders currently cannot leave their home to a beneficiary without going through probate or another costly estate planning measures such as creating a trust,” said Senator Euer (D-District 13, Newport, Jamestown). “This bill will ease the cost and difficulty for working-class Rhode Islanders by providing a simple mechanism to designate a beneficiary to inherit their property when they pass.”

Senator Euer has introduced the Uniform Real Property Transfer on Death Act (2024-S 2027) would allow owners of real property, such as a home, to use a document called a transfer on death deed to name a beneficiary who will obtain the title upon the owner’s death without the necessity of probate.

Currently 30 states, the District of Columbia and the United States Virgin Islands permit transfer on death deeds, while three other states have introduced similar legislation this year.

“Some complex or large estates require probate or a more sophisticated estate planning approach than a transfer on death deed,” said Senator Euer. “But for many Rhode Islanders who simply want to pass along the family home without costly legal fees, these deeds would save time, money and headache.”

The act has national support from the American Bar Association’s Real Property Trust and Estate Section, the ABA Commission on Law and Aging, the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, and AARP.

This bill was passed by the Senate Thursday and now moves to the House for consideration.



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