Chandler, AZ asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Arizona

Q: AZ Beneficiary Deed… can I include a life estate and also specify that property must be held rights of survivorship

1 Lawyer Answer
Gregory Christopher Poulos
Gregory Christopher Poulos
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Licensed in Arizona

A: This sounds like you are attempting to use a beneficiary deed instead of a proper estate plan.

Beneficiary deeds are intended to be used for simple transfers of real property after a person's death. While what you are suggesting can be inserted in the deed, it is highly likely that title and possession issues will arise upon your death. So, yes it may be possible, but more than likely you are created potential problems for your heirs. For example who will pay for the cost of living in the property during the life estate? When does the life estate terminate? Just putting the term "life estate" in a deed does not answer any of these questions.

Instead of trying to use a beneficiary deed for estate planning purposes you should consider engaging an estate planning attorney to provide you with better alternatives. Yes there is a cost but the cost to your heirs if there is a problem down the road will be much higher if things go wrong.

Nina Whitehurst agrees with this answer

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