In Arizona, a "beneficiary
deed" may be used to transfer ownership of property upon death of the
grantor. The beneficiary deed does not transfer any present
ownership interest in the property and is revocable at any time by the
grantor. Accordingly, a beneficiary deed may be used to avoid
There are, however,
significant disadvantages to the use of a beneficiary deed. Joint owners
(such as spouses) can defeat the purpose by revoking the deed after the
death of the first joint owner. Where there are multiple
beneficiaries the interests will require assent of all of the owners to
manage or deal with the property. In these situations the
possibility of conflict is increased.
Another disadvantage is
that for estate tax purposes, the full value of the property remains in
the owner's estate. Also, a beneficiary deed can result in
significant expense and inconvenience if any of the beneficiaries are
minors because a Conservatorship may be required to manage the minor's
A beneficiary deed should
be used only when all of the relevant factors have been considered and
determined. Some of the relevant factors are: 1) whether the
property is residential or commercial; 2) how many owners are involved; 3)
when was the last title insurance policy obtained; 4) can a title
insurance endorsement be obtained; 5) has the grantor made a valid Last
Will; 6) has the grantor prepared a proper durable power of attorney; 7)
what is the potential value of the grantor's total estate; 8) what is the
marital status of the grantor; how many beneficiaries are involved; 9)
what is the relationship between the grantor and the beneficiary; and 10)
are there any mortgages, liens or encumbrances on the property.
For assistance with an
Arizona beneficiary deed, contact us.
Here is a link to the
Arizona statute on beneficiary deeds.
* * *
For assistance with an Arizona
beneficiary deed, contact us.