How Does a Beneficiary Deed Work in Conjunction with a Last Will?

A Beneficiary Deed is a transfer-on-death instrument. That means when this form of Deed is used in conjunction with a Last Will and Testament, probate is avoided.

Upon the death of the owner of the property, the person named as beneficiary in the deed automatically takes ownership of property without the need to have the property transferred through Probate Court.

While the owner is alive, he or she retains full ownership, responsibility, and control over the property; the beneficiary provision of this deed is only effective upon the owner’s death.

As such, the Beneficiary Deed is separate from the Last Will and Testament and is used in conjunction with it. The terms of the DEED control the distribution or transfer of that specific property upon the Testator’s death; the terms in the Will cannot override the Deed.