A Beneficiary Deed is a document that allows you to transfer real property (i.e. land, a house, or a building) after your death without the need for a Probate to distribute that property to a beneficiary. For example, a parent can prepare and record a beneficiary deed transferring their house to their child. When the parent dies, the child records the death certificate and the house automatically passes to the child.
As with any legal procedure, certain rules must be followed in order for a Beneficiary Deed to be deemed effective. First, the Beneficiary Deed must be recorded before the death of the owner. Second, after the death of the owner, the beneficiary must record the death certificate to make the transfer effective.
The beneficiary inherits the property subject to all mortgages, encumbrances, or other debts already on the property. A Beneficiary Deed does not wipe out a mortgage or other debt on the property.
A Beneficiary Deed can provide a smooth and orderly transition of real property, while avoiding probate. Because a Beneficiary Deed is public record, it has transparency in what is otherwise a private estate planning process.