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St. Louis Beneficiary Deed Attorney

When a person passes away, his or her property goes into probate. For many families, this complex, sometimes lengthy process can add more stress on top of an already difficult time. Fortunately, there are many ways in which you can avoid probate—including establishing beneficiary deeds.

A beneficiary deed is a type of deed that transfers ownership of a property to certain individuals upon the owner’s death. Whether you are a beneficiary named in the deed or want to create one to avoid probate, trust the lawyers at TdD Attorneys at Law LLC. Our estate planning attorneys in St. Louis can help you properly sign and record the deed, protecting your rights and interests each step of the way.

Why Choose TdD Attorneys at Law LLC?

  • With over 20 years of legal experience, the attorneys at TdD Attorneys at Law LLC have significant skills, knowledge, and resources in both real estate and estate planning law. 
  • Our firm has handled all types of real estate and estate planning matters. We can help you create a beneficiary deed and help you establish title to the property after a loved one passes away.
  • We strive to find creative ways to resolve complex real estate and estate planning matters. Clients consistently rate our firm highly and are satisfied with our services.

What Is a Beneficiary Deed?

A Missouri beneficiary deed allows owners of Missouri real estate to transfer their property to an individual or entity at the time of their death without a will, trust or any other estate planning. The beneficiary deed is recorded in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds for the County where the property is located. However, unlike other transfer deeds, a beneficiary deed is drafted in a manner so that it does not become effective until the last owner of the property has died. Chapter 461 of the Missouri Revised Statutes contains the law that allows for beneficiary deeds.

Avoid Probate with a Beneficiary Deed

In Missouri, probate is usually required to settle a person’s estate and distribute his or her assets following his or her death. Depending on the size of the estate and whether there are any disputes, this process can take six months or longer. However, it is possible to avoid probate by creating a beneficiary deed.

If you have properly registered a beneficiary deed with the appropriate County Recorder of Deeds office, the stated beneficiaries will then have an equitable interest in the property upon your death. There may be some liens or mortgages that the beneficiary will now be responsible for and need to pay. However, probate is not necessary to establish this ownership, and the property will now be in the name of the beneficiary.

How a St. Louis Beneficiary Deed Fits into an Estate Plan

A beneficiaries deed is also commonly used within a complete estate plan to transfer the real estate into a trust at the death of the last owner. A trust is an extremely important part of an estate plan that provides control over the distribution of property and can minimize estate taxes. In order for a trust to function, the property must be placed into the trust. However, placing real estate directly into a trust while the owners are living may eliminate a protection Missouri law provides to real estate owned by married couples known as “tenants by the entirety.” Utilizing a Missouri beneficiary deed in conjunction with a complete estate plan allows the real estate owners to realize the benefits of a trust and maintain the protection provided by Missouri law.

Can You Change a Beneficiary Deed?

Circumstances change, and you may want to change beneficiaries to a property at some point in your life. As long as you are competent and able to make a change, you have the right to switch beneficiaries or even revoke the beneficiary deed completely. However, you will need to make a new beneficiary deed that reflects this change and record it with your County Recorder of Deeds office. 

Should You Hire an Attorney to Handle a Beneficiary Deed?

When creating a beneficiary deed, you will need to make sure that the document meets all of the necessary legal requirements. You will also need to ensure that your beneficiaries understand the process that will need to take place following your death and are prepared to carry it out correctly. In these situations, you need an attorney on your side.

When you hire TdD Attorneys at Law LLC, your lawyer can guide you through this process and create a comprehensive estate plan to protect your best interests. We can help you draft the deed, file it with the county recorder, and speak to your loved ones about what comes next. If you are left a beneficiary deed, we can help you understand your next steps. 

Contact a St. Louis Estate Plan Lawyer Today

Contact TdD Attorneys at Law by phone (314) 276-1318 or schedule a consultation online with an experienced St. Louis estate plan lawyer today.

IRS CIRCULAR 230 DISCLOSURE: Federal law requires us to advise you that any federal tax advice contained in this communication is not intended and cannot be used for the purpose of (i) avoiding tax-related penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any tax-related matters addressed herein.