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What is a beneficiary deed?

On Behalf of | Dec 8, 2020 | Firm News

A beneficiary deed is a special deed unique to Arizona.  This document is filed with the Recorder’s office and places a beneficiary on your home in the event that you pass away.  This important document ensures that the equity in your home gets passed on to your loved one (or loved ones).

What happens if you DO NOT have a Beneficiary Deed?

Without a beneficiary deed, the equity in your home will be subject to probate.  Even if you are living with someone, if their name is not on the title, probate will have to occur. Probate is the court supervised process that distributes your assets to eventually be distributed to the people or person specified in your Will.  If you do not have a will, your assets will be distributed according to the formula in the Arizona Revised Statutes. State statutes have a formula to determine who gets your assets. This formula can be very convoluted depending on if you are married, divorced, have children, step children, grand children, brothers, sisters, or cousins. You can find those statutes in Article 14 of the Arizona Revised Statutes or make an appointment with us to discuss in more detail.

What happens if you DO have a Beneficiary Deed?

If you do have a beneficiary deed, once you pass away, it is very easy for whomever you have designated as your beneficiary. All they will need to do is record your death certificate. There will be no probate of your house equity.

Who Especially Needs a Beneficiary Deed? 

  • A husband or wife who owns a house alone and does not have their spouse on the deed
  • Anyone with any equity in their home
  • Homeowners with adult children

It is so important to make sure there is a plan for what is probably your most valuable assets.  Beneficiary deeds are not appropriate for every situation. In addition, they must be written correctly so that it works the way you intend. It is important to talk with an experienced lawyer to determine if this is the right choice for you.

Give us a call today to discuss your situation in more detail to determine if a beneficiary deed is the right option for you.