What is a Beneficiary Deed?

Should I put my children on my deed?

This question comes up usually when a person has lost their spouse and wants to avoid probate. There is a better way than putting a child or children directly on the title. It is called a beneficiary deed. It does not transfer ownership until death, avoids probate and allows you to continue to own the property without interference of legal complications created by putting your child or children on the deed. This can also be used if you are in a life partnership arrangement and want to insure you life partner ends up with the property but do not want to put he or she on title for any number of reasons.

If a person has a judgment against them, you would not want them on title. If a person has a tax lien you would not want them on title. Yet if you want them to have the property upon your death, the beneficiary deed can accomplish that desire.

An issue may develop if there is more than one child as to how the property should be handled after the grantors death. Issues come up as to maintenance, sales price, if it is to be sold, can one child live in the property while it is being sold and so forth.

If a clear understanding and commitment is not agreed to in advance, then you may need to consider passing the property by will or having a trusted personal representative deal with the property in accordance with your wishes.

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