Rhode Island Senate Advances Bill to Simplify Home Inheritance Process

In Rhode Island, residents currently face hurdles when it comes to passing on their homes to loved ones after their demise. While financial assets like pension plans and life insurance policies can be transferred to named beneficiaries without the complexities of probate, similar mechanisms don’t exist for real estate. However, a new legislative proposal sponsored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairwoman Dawn Euer seeks to change that.

Senator Euer (D-District 13, Newport, Jamestown) highlighted the challenges faced by Rhode Islanders, stating, “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.” She emphasized that the proposed bill aims to alleviate this burden by providing a straightforward option for homeowners to designate a beneficiary to inherit their property upon their passing.

The legislation, known as the Uniform Real Property Transfer on Death Act (2024-S 2027), introduced by Senator Euer, proposes the use of a transfer on death deed for real property owners. This document would allow them to specify a beneficiary who would receive the property title without the need for probate proceedings.

Currently, 30 states, along with the District of Columbia and the United States Virgin Islands, permit transfer on death deeds, with three additional states introducing similar legislation this year.

Senator Euer acknowledged that certain estates might still necessitate probate or more sophisticated estate planning methods, but for many Rhode Islanders seeking a simple and cost-effective means to pass on the family home, these deeds could offer significant savings in time, money, and effort.

The proposed act has garnered support on a national level from organizations such as 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.

Following its passage by the Senate on Thursday, the bill now progresses to the House for further consideration. If enacted, it could mark a significant step towards streamlining the inheritance process for Rhode Island homeowners and their beneficiaries.




Like Newport Buzz? We depend on the generosity of readers like you who support us, to help with our mission to keep you informed and entertained with local, independent news and content. We truly appreciate your trust and support!