Several years ago, the State of Arizona created a beneficiary deed ownership. Under a beneficiary deed, the owner of the property remains the owner of the property, and a designated beneficiary will only take the property upon the death of an owner. The beneficiary named in the deed does not have a present right or interest in the property, but only a future expectancy. Indeed, a beneficiary deed may name one or more beneficiaries to succeed an owner and could specify that if one beneficiary dies before the original owner, the beneficiary’s interest will go instead to the children or the deceased beneficiary. Property passing to the beneficiary under the beneficiary deed is considered a non-probate transfer and likewise, passes outside of the will.

EXAMPLE: I, John Doe (owner), hereby convey to Jane Doe (grantee beneficiary) effective on my death the following described real property:

(legal description).

If a grantee beneficiary predeceases the owner, the conveyance to that grantee beneficiary shall either (choose one):

( ) become null and void

( ) become part of the estate of the grantee beneficiary.

Lat J. Celmins