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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Default Will vs. Beneficiary Deed

    My question involves estate proceedings in the state of: Arizona

    Hello everyone,

    In 2003 my father signed a beneficiary deed over to 2 of my older brothers, as joint tenants (We'll call them A and B). To my understanding that transfer on death deed is simply to ensure that ownership is transferred upon death, in order to keep that piece of property from going into probate.

    There are 4 children total, including me.

    In 2007 my father created his will, and in his will he stated that 1 of my older brother's (A), who would become the executor of the estate, would receive 50% of all assets/estate. This means that he would get 25% for himself, and the other 25% he would manage for a 3rd brother (we'll call him C), because brother C is disabled and lives in a group home and is not capable of managing his own expenses. Brother B would receive 25%, and lastly I would receive 25%. In my father's will he included his property (that he formerly signed a beneficiary deed on) in his will as part of his estate to be split.

    Lastly, my father paid on 2 different life insurance policies for many years. I do not know if he assigned them to any beneficiary(s) or left them blank to be automatically transferred to the estate upon his death.

    In October of 2009 my father passed away. Brother A, who is now the executor, has still not filed the will with the court.

    My questions are as follows;

    1. Does that beneficiary deed overwrite the will? Are brothers A and B able to split the property 50/50 and not carry out the 50/25/25 as stated in the will?

    2. IF my father only assigned a single brother (or two) as a beneficiary on the life insurance policies, would that brother be able to keep it all to himself and not be required to divvy up the sum between the 4 of us? I do not know if there is a trust.

    Any information would be GREATLY appreciated.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Will vs. Beneficiary Deed

    If a conveyance has already been made by deed, a subsequent will won't change the deed. (It's similarly possible to sell real estate after executing a will, to the effect that the real estate is no longer part of the estate even though it was at the time the will was executed.)

    Life insurance benefits ordinarily pass to the named beneficiary outside of the estate.

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