Revoking a Beneficiary Deed in Arkansas
Beneficiary deeds in Arkansas are governed by A.S.A. 18-12-608. This statute also includes information about revoking an executed and recorded beneficiary deed.
Section 18-12-608 (d)(1) states that a beneficiary deed "may be revoked at any time by the owner or, if there is more than one (1) owner, by any of the owners who executed the beneficiary deed." Why is this flexibility important? Well, life is uncertain and circumstances change. The original beneficiary may no longer be an appropriate recipient of the real property. Perhaps the beneficiary knows about the transfer, but is unable or unwilling to accept it. Instead of disclaiming the gift when the owner dies, thus forcing the property back into the estate for probate, the owner has the option to revoke the beneficiary deed and designate someone else to receive it.
Regardless of the reason, to revoke a beneficiary deed, the owner must execute a document setting forth the revocation and then record it, DURING HIS/HER LIFE, in the county where the property is situated. This should be the same county where the beneficiary deed was recorded earlier.
The owner may also simply sell the property outright, thereby extinguishing any remaining interest in it and leaving nothing to transfer at death. Or, he/she may execute and record another beneficiary deed, naming someone else to receive the real estate. This method is effective because "the recorded beneficiary deed that is last signed before the owner's death is the effective beneficiary deed, regardless of the sequence of recording." ( 18-12-608(e))
Even though there are several options available to revoke or change a recorded beneficiary deed, recording a revocation is the most efficient way to ensure the owner's wishes are carried out. A revocation discontinues the potential future interest described in the beneficiary deed, which then frees the real estate for whatever the owner wishes to do with it next. This is also important because it helps maintain a clear chain of title, which will make later sales or mortgages of the property less complicated.
Note: as with beneficiary deeds, any changes or revocations must be executed and recorded while the owner is alive.
Deeds.com Arkansas Beneficiary Deed Revocation Forms Have Been Updated as Recently as Thursday December 7, 2017