by Phoenix attorney Christopher A. Combs, partner with Combs Law Group, P.C.

Question:

Three years ago I executed and recorded a beneficiary deed for my Chandler home. The grantees under this beneficiary deed were my four children. In the case of the death of one of my children I want the remaining three children to have equal shares in owning my home. In the beneficiary deed, however, I simply named my four children, and did not designate them as joint tenants with right of survivorship (AJTWROS) Should I amend the beneficiary deed now?

Answer:

The advantage to a beneficiary deed is that the grantees have no ownership in the real property until the death of the grantor. Therefore, during the grantor’s lifetime the grantor can revoke the beneficiary deed by recording a notice revoking the beneficiary deed. I would suggest that you record a notice revoking the beneficiary deed to your four children, and then record a new beneficiary deed designating your four children as JTWROS. Upon your death the four children would own your home as JTWROS, and if one of the four children died, the remaining three children would be the owners of the home as JTWROS. The children of the deceased child would have no interest in the home. Similarly, if before you die one of your four children dies, the remaining three children, as JTWROS, would be the grantees under the beneficiary deed. Note: A form of a beneficiary deed, and the form to revoke a beneficiary deed, can both be found in A.R.S. ‘ 33-405.

The above is for informational purposes only and is not intended as definitive legal or tax advice. You should not act upon this information without seeking independent legal counsel. If you desire legal, tax or other professional advice, please contact your attorney, tax advisor or other professional consultant. Reprinted with permission. Copyright 2007, all rights reserved.

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