Beneficiary Deeds – Practical Steps Upon the Grantor’s Death

I wrote recently about beneficiary deeds in this post. If you haven’t read that post, I recommend you do so before continuing here.

As I explain in that earlier post, a beneficiary deed is a great tool to transfer real estate outside of probate. This article walks through the practical steps a grantee should take after the grantor’s death.

First, you should update the property insurance to reflect the new ownership. To avoid any risk of loss, this should be done as soon as possible. (The grantor may even want to add the beneficiary/grantee as an additional insured party under the policy, while they’re alive, to avoid any gaps in coverage).

Then you need to record a death certificate (or verification of death document) in the county in which the property is located. You should also record a supplementary affidavit, confirming that the person named in the death certificate and the grantor are one and the same.

Confirm, also, that the county assessor has an appropriate mailing address, as the original mailing address on the beneficiary deed may be outdated.

If the property will be sold, or financed/refinanced, then note that the title company will not provide insurance until four months after the grantor’s death. Under C.R.S. 15-15-407, a beneficiary deed can be challenged during this time frame and, as such, the underwriter will insist on waiting out that four month period. Practically speaking, this means the property cannot be sold or financed until four months after the grantor’s death.

In rare circumstances, a beneficiary may not want the the property – and perhaps they didn’t even know they were a beneficiary until after the grantor’s death. In that case, the grantee can record a disclaimer pursuant to C.R.S. 15-15-414.

If you have any questions regarding beneficiary deeds, then schedule a consultation to talk with a real estate attorney. Our website makes it easy to schedule online.

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