The Law Office of Kurt H King

January 3, 2012

Beneficiary Deeds and Designations in Missouri

Filed under: Estates/Probate,Uncategorized — kurthking @ 4:07 pm
Tags: ,

Beneficiary deeds are possibly the best deal in the legal world.  Usually cheaper than a traffic ticket, a beneficiary deed on real estate (residential or commercial) can pass title upon death directly to the beneficiaries named in the deed, in likelihood saving 6-12 months of time in probate court, probate attorneys fees, and probate fees based on the value of the real estate, all of which amounts to several thousand dollars.  Practically all single or widowed persons with property in their own name should have a beneficiary deed, and married or joint owners should too since both could die unexpectedly.  (Note that the above may well not apply if you have put the real estate in a trust, limited liability company, corporation, or some other legal entity which does not “die” when you do.)

While lawyers typically prepare beneficiary deeds involving real estate, a lawyer is generally not needed to make beneficiary designations that do much the same as to personal property such as TOD/POD’s on bank accounts, life insurance beneficiary desigations, TOD’s on titles to vehicles and such, beneficiary designations on retirement accounts, and TOD’s on stock certificates and certificates of ownership in a LLC, to list a few.  The bank, license bureau, or insurance company should have the form you need and can help you fill it out to save considerable time, money, and hassle in transferring ownership of the asset quickly to the beneficiary. 

The advantage of beneficiary designations over joint ownership is that you as the owner may sell, encumber, or take other action WITHOUT the consent or approval of the beneficiary.   In other words, the property is all yours and the beneficiary has no ownership rights until till death and then only if you still own the asset.  Nor do any creditors of the beneficiary have any rights or liens on the asset before the owner’s death.

Kurt H. King

Law Office of Kurt H. King, 20 E. Franklin, Liberty, Clay County, Missouri 64068


General Practice and Litigation, Wills, Real Estate, Bankruptcy, Personal Injury & Missouri Workers’ Compensation

Child Custody & Support, Divorce & Modification, Family Law

1 Comment »

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