Once again today I got to explain to a child that a Will does not override a Beneficiary Deed. Beneficiary Deeds transfer property to another upon the death of the owner of the property. They are sometimes called “TOD” or “Transfer on Death” Deeds. Assuming the beneficiary is alive it happens instantly and automatically upon the death of the original owner.
Example – if Fred Flintstone creates and records a beneficiary deed leaving his house to Pebbles, and then creates a will leaving the same property to Barney Rubble, the property goes to Pebbles. Barney is simply out of luck.
The same principle applies to jointly held property, Transfer on Death (TOD) accounts, etc.
If you are doing planning through a Will, then you must be certain that you don’t undo your will through these types of transfers!! Title is everything!
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