Estate Planning

The Texas Transfer on Death Deed

Can an Agent Under a Power of Attorney Revoke a Transfer on Death Deed?

by Rania Combs

The Texas Transfer on Death Deed allows homeowners to name a beneficiary who will inherit their property after they die.

It works like a beneficiary designation on a bank account or an insurance policy. If a beneficiary is named, the property will pass to the beneficiary outside the probate process.

To be valid, the transfer on death deed must be signed by the homeowner and recorded in the County property records before the homeowner’s death. The transfer on death deed statute specifically prohibits an agent acting under a power of attorney from creating a transfer on death deed.

Recently, someone asked whether it was possible for an agent acting under a power of attorney to revoke a transfer on death deed.

Based on my reading of the statute the answer is: no.

The statute provides that a revocation or subsequent transfer on death deed that revokes the preceding transfer on death deed must be acknowledged by the transferor.

A transferor is defined as an individual who makes a transfer on death deed, which specifically excludes an agent acting under a power of attorney.

About Rania

Rania graduated magna cum laude from South Texas College of Law Houston and is the founder of Rania Combs Law, PLLC. She has been licensed to practice law since 1994 and enjoys helping clients in Texas and North Carolina create estate plans that give them peace of mind.

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  1. Annie A.

    September 22, 2017 at 9:18pm

    Good evening Ms. Combs,

    Your website is the most informative, comprehensive and professional sites I’ve come across. Thank you so much for providing a space for individuals to ask you questions.

    My questions for you is, if I already have a Will that transfers real property (e.g., my house) to a Beneficiary, do I still need to have an attorney draft a Transfer on Deed Death for me?

    Thanks so much!


    1. Rania Combs

      October 11, 2017 at 9:21am

      Thanks Annie. I’m glad you find the information on my website helpful.

      Having a Will ensures that your property will be transferred to to your beneficiary; however, a probate proceeding will likely be necessary. Having a transfer on death deed will allow the property to pass to your beneficiary without a probate proceeding.

  2. Lillian

    November 13, 2019 at 4:55pm

    I have a Transfer on Death Deed. If I were to become mentally incapacitated and my home needed to be sold for financial reasons, can my agent named in the Durable Power of Attorney sell my home? If not, what other recourse would my family have? Thank you

    1. Rania Combs

      November 18, 2019 at 2:22pm

      The transfer on death deed statute provides that a transfer on death deed does not affect an interest or right of a transferor to transfer or encumber the real property that is the subject of the deed and does not create a legal or equitable interest in favor of the designated beneficiary. Based on that, I do not believe an agent under a power of attorney would be restricted from selling the property.