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How a Beneficiary Deed can help avoid probate

Beneficiary Deeds are a relatively inexpensive method to convey real estate upon your death without having to probate your estate.

A Deed is a document used to convey title (i.e. ownership) to real estate.  If you sold real estate, you conveyed title to that real estate by a Deed.  If you bought real estate, you received title to that real estate by a Deed.  The most common types of Deeds are Warranty Deeds and Quit Claim Deeds.  Deeds are recorded in the real estate records to give the world notice that title to the property has changed.

Most Deeds transfer title immediately upon signing and delivery to the new owner.  The Beneficiary Deed is an exception to that rule.  A Beneficiary Deed transfers title when the person signing the Deed (i.e. the owner) dies.

A Beneficiary Deed is signed by the owner of the real estate.  In the Beneficiary Deed, the owner names who gets the real estate when the owner dies.  The person who gets the real estate upon the owner's death is called the beneficiary.

There can be more than one beneficiary and the beneficiary can be a minor.  The Beneficiary Deed can also name the person who gets the real estate if the named beneficiary dies before the owner.

Beneficiary Deeds are revocable.  This means that the owner who signed a Beneficiary Deed can take it back anytime, and for any reason, as long as the owner is alive and competent.  Revocation is accomplished by recording a Notice of Revocation in the real estate records.  

Unlike the Deeds that transfer title immediately upon signing and delivery to the new owner, a Beneficiary Deed transfers title when the person signing the Deed (i.e. the owner) dies.  Until his or her death, the owner continues to own and can use the property, including being able to sell or borrow money against the property. When the person signing the Beneficiary Deed dies, proof of the death is recorded in the real estate records, giving the world notice that ownership of the property has changed.

A Beneficiary Deed allows you keep and use your property while you are alive, and to name who gets your property when you die, without having your estate probated.  If you want a Beneficiary Deed; want to revoke a Beneficiary Deed; or are named as a Beneficiary in a Deed and the owner has died, contact us at www.tornowlaw.com or info@tornowlaw.com.   We would be glad to help you. 

 

 

 

This website is exclusively for informational purposes. It is not legal advice. Viewing this site, using information from it, or communicating through this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. Thomas T. Tornow, P.C. is not liable for the use or interpretation of information on this site and expressly disclaims all liability for any actions you may or may not take based on the content of this website.