The Arizona beneficiary deed form allows property to be automatically transferred to a new owner when the current owner dies, without the need to go through probate. It also gives the current owner retained control over the property, including the right to change his or her mind about the transfer.
Special language is required to ensure that the deed qualifies as a beneficiary deed. This language is automatically included by our deed preparation service and valid in all Arizona counties.
An Arizona beneficiary deed form—also known as an Arizona transfer-on-death deed form or Arizona TOD deed form—is a type of deed authorized by statute to pass Arizona real estate to designated beneficiaries on the death of an owner. An Arizona beneficiary deed for works the same way as a TOD designation on a bank account. The owner simply designates someone to inherit the property when the owner dies. During the owner’s life, the owner retains complete control over the property and can revoke the beneficiary designation.
Arizona is one a handful of states—including Colorado and Missouri—that use the term beneficiary deed to refer to a deed that designates a beneficiary to inherit property at death. Most other states use the term transfer-on-death deed or TOD deed to refer to the same instruments. Illinois uses the term transfer-on-death instrument and Nevada uses the term deed upon death. These terms all refer to the same type of deed form.
A few states recognize a deed form called an enhanced life estate or lady bird deed. Like a beneficiary deed form, a lady bird deed form is used to avoid probate at death without sacrificing control during life. But lady bird deeds are not authorized by statute and differ in significant ways from beneficiary deeds. Even though beneficiary deeds serve the same purpose as lady bird deeds, they are not the same deed form and shouldn’t be confused with each other.
An Arizona beneficiary deed form has several benefits that make it a popular estate planning tool:
An Arizona beneficiary deed form must meet several requirements that apply specifically to beneficiary deed forms:
An Arizona beneficiary deed form must meet all of the requirements that apply to other Arizona deed forms. These requirements include correct formatting, font, and page margins, as well as substantive legal requirements.
A deed that meets these requirements will transfer the owner’s interest to the beneficiary effective on the death of the owner. The transfer is subject to any debts or other encumbrances affecting the property (meaning that any debts will continue to be enforceable against the property after the property passes to the beneficiary).
Arizona beneficiary deed forms were created by statute. It is important that each beneficiary deed meet the requirements of the statute, as well as the requirements of other provisions of Arizona law that affect transfer of real estate and recording of instruments.
Each deed created by our online deed preparation service was attorney-designed to meet these requirements and be eligible for recording in all Arizona counties.