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Missouri Real Estate Titles – Adding a Family Member’s Name

George called my office this afternoon.  His sister, Billie had been appointed as the Personal Representative of his mother’s estate a week ago.  According to him Mom had a “simple will” leaving everything to her three children equally.  He found out by word of mouth that Mom had “put Betty’s name on the title” (Betty is his other sister).  When I asked him what that meant he didn’t know.  He didn’t know if it was a Beneficiary Deed, or if she had recorded a Deed transferring all of a part of the property to Betty prior to death.  Further, when I explained that there were several possibilities and that I really couldn’t answer without more information he got rather upset with me.  Hopefully he will either let me assist him, or he’ll find out and call me back.  The answers are likely readily available, but I couldn’t even give him an educated guess.

Mom likely made a mistake.  Regardless of the type of transfer it will override her will, and apparently disrupt her Estate Plan.  George will probably be mad, and left at Betty’s mercy in terms of carrying out Mom’s wishes.

It is rarely a good idea to add a child’s name to the property ownership.  It creates problems with the ultimate distribution, and depending on how it’s done, may create tax issues and liability problems.  Trust based plans normally are the better choice.

Feel free to contact us with questions.

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Another Missouri Beneficiary Deed Failure

We’ve written and posted several times about the inherent dangers in relying on Beneficiary Deeds (also known as “Transfer on Death Deeds”) to transfer title in Missouri. Beneficiary Deeds, in the proper circumstances, present a very inexpensive and efficient method of transferring real estate upon death.  The problem is the relative ease and low cost… Continue Reading

2 Responses to Another Missouri Beneficiary Deed Failure

  1. Transfer on Death Deed – Beneficiary Deed Missouri, How sound is this if the seller is found unable in the old age? And can his blood line come back on me when I am not related?

    • I’m not clear what you mean by “if the seller is found unable in the old age”. First, this is not a sale – it is a transfer on death. Secondly, and I assume this is the root of your question – if the owner(s) are competent when they execute the deed and are not improperly influenced to sign the document it is valid. Those in the “bloodline” have no rights to challenge, nor does anyone else.

      However, this illustrates the point that I was trying to make in this post. Beneficiary Deeds in Missouri are great tools when used appropriately, but are not always the best way to go. Real Estate transactions are commonly among the largest we make during our lifetimes. Get competent legal advice before trying to do it yourself.

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Missouri Living Trusts and Life Insurance Beneficiaries

A major part of establishing a Trust Based Estate Plan is the “funding” of the Trust.  Oversimplified, this involves the re-titling of assets such as bank accounts, real estate and brokerage accounts.  It also involves dealing with Life Insurance Beneficiaries.  While every situation is different, we often recommend naming the Trust as the beneficiary. Why?… Continue Reading

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Funding your Missouri Living Trust

Creating a Revocable, or Living Trust in Missouri is basically a two step process.  The first, and most easily understandable, is creating the Trust document itself.  This is done after discussing all options and carefully putting together the instrument, and then signing it. A second step that is nearly as important is the “funding” of… Continue Reading

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Missouri Beneficiary Deeds – What Happens with the Owner Dies?

We have written blogged several times about Missouri Beneficiary Deeds — the good, the bad, and the ugly.  We ran into a new situation recently.  A divorced dad died a few months ago and left his house to 19 year old Molly, his only child, through a beneficiary deed.  We offered to help her  with “getting organized” but she thought… Continue Reading

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Preventing Fighting over the Funeral in Missouri

A sad situation presented itself a few weeks ago.  A funeral director was demanding that all the children of a recently deceased client consent to a cremation. One of the children was out of the country permanently, and could not be reached. Fortunately I was able to convince the lawyer for the funeral home that… Continue Reading

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