When a person passes away, the death certificate and last
will are submitted to the county probate court. A person representative begins
the process of passing assets along as the will directs — except when other
valid legal instruments have priority. One of those instruments is the
all-important real estate deed.
Houses can be left to their owners’ chosen
beneficiaries through wills. But when someone who co-owns a house passes away, questions
may arise as to what the last will says versus what the deed says. In case of a
conflict, does the last will get the last word? Short answer: probably not. The
long answer starts with the
way the title is vested.
Survivorship Rights Vs. Tenancies in Common
When an owner dies, a properly signed and recorded deed directs
and channels the person’s property interest to its next owner, typically according
to the following rules.
Continue reading “What Happens When Wills and Deeds Conflict?”
A will might seem like the simplest way to leave something to a loved one or other beneficiary, and it’s certainly the most common, but wills must be probated. This necessitates a lengthy process that can slow the transfer of property from a decedent to a beneficiary; it also opens the door to will disputes that can add further delays. Special deeds, sometimes called transfer-on-death (TOD) deeds, simplify the transfer, but they come with their own set of potential legal issues.
Continue reading “The Guide to Beneficiary Deeds”
The Arizona Beneficiary Deed, governed by Arizona Revised Statutes 33-405, is a useful estate planning tool. It gives owners/grantors of Arizona real estate the ability to initiate, but not complete, the transfer process to a designated beneficiary while retaining absolute control in the property. This means the owner (grantor) may sell, rent, mortgage or otherwise use the property with no penalty for waste or obligation to the named beneficiary. In addition, because the conveyance is not completed until the owner’s death, he/she may change or remove beneficiary designations at will. Because of the potential for change, there is no obligation for the beneficiary/grantee to provide consideration (money or something else of value). A.R.S. 33-405(L) contains the form and requirements for revoking a beneficiary deed.
Continue reading “Property Transfers using a Beneficiary Deed in Arizona”