Beneficiary Deed Not Revoked by a Will

Question: My wife’s father passed away ten years ago. My wife’s mother then executed a beneficiary deed to their Chandler family home to her daughter, and they both continued to live in this home. Two years ago when I married her daughter, my wife’s mother executed a will that gave the Chandler home to both my wife and myself as community property. My wife’s mother recently passed away. Unfortunately, my wife and I may soon be filing for divorce. If we do file for divorce, will I lose my community property interest in the Chandler family home?

Answer: Probably. Under Arizona law a beneficiary deed is not revoked by a subsequent will (or a subsequent revocable living trust). A.R.S. §33-405(J). Therefore, the Chandler home should be the separate property of your wife, and not community property subject to any divorce proceedings between you and your wife.

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