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September 12, 2019

An Overview of Beneficiary Deeds

Beneficiary Deeds and the benefits they offer.


A Beneficiary Deed is a legal instrument that conveys title to a piece of real property upon the grantor’s death.

-This document can include a single beneficiary or multiple beneficiaries.

-For a Beneficiary Deed to be valid, you must have it recorded at the Recorder of Deeds office (in the county where the property sits) before the grantor’s death.

Transfer of Ownership

It is important to remember that transfer of ownership does not occur when a Beneficiary Deed is signed, notarized, and recorded. As mentioned previously, ownership transfers only upon the grantor’s death. Accordingly, a Beneficiary Deed can be revoked or amended by the grantor at any point during their lifetime.


One significant benefit of having a Beneficiary Deed is that your real property transfers to your beneficiaries without the need for the property to go through Probate. *

*Probate is an expensive, time-consuming, court-ordered process. The decedent’s property must go through Probate upon their death, except under limited circumstances (e.g., real estate with a recorded Beneficiary Deed, or any real or personal property owned by a Trust).

This article represents the opinion of the author and is intended for educational purposes. This article does not constitute legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. One should always consult with an experienced attorney before making estate planning decisions.

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