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Beneficiary Deeds in Missouri – a Quick Introduction

A Beneficiary Deed, also commonly called a Transfer on Death Deed, is an instrument that transfers title to real property on the death of the owner, or sometimes on the death of the last of several owners, such as husband and wife.  They are available for use in Missouri, and many other states (but not all).  In the appropriate situation they are a very efficient, inexpensive way to transfer real property on death and avoid probate.  They do not affect the ability of the owner to sell, mortage, or give away the property.  As the name implies, they are only effective on death.

HOWEVER, like everything else, they are not an “elastic sock”, one size does not fit all.

If people die in the order you think, if nobody becomes disabled, and if the heirs all get along, if nobody has money problems, etc., they work well.  Otherwise, they can prove to be penny-wise and dollar-foolish.   You should consult with an attorney to determine if they are the best tool for you to use.  If there are any complicating factors you should perhaps consider some other mechanism, such as a Trust Based Estate Plan.

Contact us if you have more questions.

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