Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Beneficiary Deeds as a Method to Avoid Probate in Arizona

By Harry J. Lenaburg, Esq.

Many clients come to consult with me for advice on various methods of avoiding the necessity of the filing of a probate of their estate by their heirs.  Some choose to establish a Revocable Living Trust, while others choose other methods.

One such tool to avoid probate in the context of real property is the execution and recording of a beneficiary deed.  Such a deed provides that upon the recording of the death certificate of the grantor, the real property will thenceforth be titled to the designated beneficiary or beneficiaries.

The recording of a beneficiary deed does not transfer any right in the property to the designated beneficiary during the life of the grantor.  In other words, the grantor remains free to sell or otherwise transfer the property.  One drawback to simply titling the property as a joint tenant with a child is that that child has the right to transfer his or her interest in the property without your consent.  Also a judgment lien recorded against that joint tenant attaches to the property, and should you decide to sell the property such a judgment lien would have to be satisfied from the proceeds of the sale.

A beneficiary deed is the perfect solution to this dilemma. Please contact our office or an law office in your area to have one prepared. 

The Law Firm of Jessica M. Cotter, P.L.L.C.
18301 North 79th Avenue, Suite F-168
Glendale, Arizona 85308


  1. Thanks so much for the information. I have been so stressed out about all of this, and your post has really helped ease some of that stress. Do you happen to know of any law firms in Fayetteville, NC that I should talk to?

  2. Ms Hart:

    Recall that the information provided is specific to the state of Arizona. I am not licensed to pratice law in North Carolina.

    I do not know any estate planning attorneys in the Fayetteville area. One resource might be the county bar association for your county, if there is such an organization. Also the State Bar of North Carolina could be helpful. If all else fails you can alway try google, or even the good old fashioned yellow pages.

    Good luck
    Harry J. Lenaburg, Esq.