1. The Grantor of the Beneficiary Deed is the current Owner of the real property. In the event real property is owned by more than one individual and one of those individuals has died prior to a Beneficiary Deed being created and recorded, then the surviving Owner will be required to create, sign and record an Affidavit As To Death of Owner (see the Affidavit Request page on this website) prior to creating, signing and recording a Beneficiary Deed.
2. The Grantee of the Beneficiary Deed is the individual whom the Owner desires to transfer the real property upon the Owner's death. The Grantee is the beneficiary of such transfer. There may be more than one Grantee.
3. In the event a Grantee predeceases the Grantor then the Grantee's living descendants shall take such deceased Grantee's interest by law if such living descendants are also the direct descendants of the Grantor. In the event the Grantor desires not to have the Grantee's living descendants take such share, then the designation "no LDPS" (no lineal descendants per stirpes) may be included after the name of the Grantee in the Beneficiary Deed. In such case the deceased Grantee's share shall lapse and instead will be equally divided and distributed to the surviving Grantee(s). In the event a Grantee predeceases the Grantor and the Grantee's living descendants are not the direct descendants of the Grantor, then the deceased Grantee's interest terminates by law unless the designation "LDPS" (lineal descendants per stirpes) has been included after the name of the Grantee. In the event a Grantee predeceases the Grantor it is recommended the Grantor review the Beneficiary Deed and update accordingly.
4. In the event the Grantor desires to name more than one beneficiary, then such beneficiaries may hold title to such real property upon the death of the Grantor either as Joint Tenants with the Right of Survivorship or as Tenants in Common.
- If the Grantees hold title as Joint Tenants with the Right of Survivorship and one of them should die during their joint ownership, then the surviving joint beneficiaries shall "inherit" such deceased beneficiary's interest in the real property.
- If the Grantees hold title as Tenants in Common and one of them should die during their joint ownership then the deceased beneficiary's interest shall transfer according to such beneficiary's estate plan, normally by his or her Last Will & Testament, and possibly require implementation of the probate process. This may result in the transfer of such real property interest to such beneficiary's surviving spouse, children or other individuals, depending upon the provisions of such beneficiary's Last Will & Testament. The probate process may be avoided in this situation by such beneficiary signing and recording a separate Beneficiary Deed for his or her respective Tenant in Common interest in the real property prior to his or her death.
5. The Beneficiary Deed must be signed by the Grantor in the presence of a Notary Public and must be recorded with the local County Recorder of Deeds Office where the real property is located before it becomes effective under law. The Grantee does not sign such deed.
6. Upon signature and notarization the Grantor will need to walk-in such deed or mail such deed to the local County Recorder of Deeds Office with a check for the recording fee and a self-addressed, stamped envelope. The cost charged by the local County Recorder of Deeds Office to record a Beneficiary Deed averages between $24.00 and $30.00. The Grantor should Contact the Local County Recorder of Deeds Office to inquire as to the fee charged. Upon recordation the local County Recorder of Deeds Office will mail the original Beneficiary Deed back to the Grantor.
7. In the future should the Grantor decide to modify or change the provisions of the Beneficiary Deed the Grantor may simply have a new Beneficiary Deed drafted. Upon the Grantor's signature, notarization and recordation, as explained above, the resulting new Beneficiary Deed will supercede and terminate the previous Beneficiary Deed. However, it may be wise to create, sign and record a revocation of the original Beneficiary Deed.
8. Upon the death of a sole Grantor, or the death of the last surviving of multiple Grantors, ownership of the real property will immediately transfer by law to the Grantee. Although not required by law it is recommended the Grantee create, sign and record an Affidavit As To Death of Grantor (see the Affidavit Request page on this website) with the local County Recorder of Deeds Office where the real property is located. The recording of such Affidavit will place on record the name of the Grantee as the new owner of the real property and will allow for the local Assessor Office to update the real estate tax records. The Affidavit will eventually be required if and when the Grantee decides to sell the real property. If the Grantee decides to retain such property for any period of time then it is recommended the Grantee also have a new Beneficiary Deed created and recorded for the Grantee's sole interest or tenant in common interest, as applicable. See paragraph 4 above for more information.
9. The provisions relating to the creation and implementation of the Missouri Beneficiary Deed are set forth in Section 461.025 of the Missouri Revised Statutes, also known and the Missouri Nonprobate Transfers Law.
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