The beneficiary deed is a very useful tool for transferring a person’s home or other real property upon a person’s death, but as with other deeds, it should be prepared by a professional. A large part of business at Thompson Law Group, P.C. has been correcting titles to real property where deeds were incorrectly prepared. Deeds must correctly reflect marital status, and contain an accurate legal description. One of the most common defects in any transfer of real property via generic self-help forms is the failure to accurately state the legal description of the real property. Further, the generic self-help forms do not include the mandatory disclosures required by Arizona law when a trust is involved which may make the title transfer unenforceable and void. A beneficiary deed is in some respects more complicated than other deeds, because it must correctly reflect the beneficiary (the person receiving the property after the decedent’s death) and in what capacity. For example, if property is left to numerous children, will they obtain title as tenants in common? What happens if one of the children dies before the grantor of the beneficiary deed? Will grandchildren inherit if one of the children is deceased when the property is transferred? For a husband and wife, do they understand that a beneficiary deed for property held in community property with right of survivorship can be revoked by the surviving spouse, giving the surviving spouse the power to change who the property is ultimately transferred to upon death? These and other questions should be answered before preparation of a beneficiary deed. Just as in the case of a will or a living trust, the preparer of a beneficiary deed should make sure that it accurately reflects the desires of the person planning his or her estate.
The Thompson Law Group, P.C. is committed to providing quality legal service at reasonable rates. We generally provide our documentation preparation services at a flat rate so that the fees are certain. If is necessary to provide additional services, such as review additional documents, chain the title, etc., in order to prepare the necessary documents or cure title defects, we inform our clients of this expense prior to commencement of any work in avoid any confusion about fees or necessary work to protect a transaction and make it valid.
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