- The title to personal property and real property can be held in in forms that will pass the owner’s interest in that property to surviving tenants or named beneficiaries.
- In instances involving real property interests an Affidavit is used to show that there has been a death and that the interest of the deceased owner has been transferred to a successor.
- In instances involving personal property where an account or contract interest reflects a joint tenant or designated beneficiary, that surviving joint tenant or beneficiary must contact the company holding the account or contract interest to notify them of the death; and that company will provide information necessary to transfer the interest to the successor.
A.R.S. Sec. 14-6101, and the sections that follow 14-6101, govern non-probate transfers of property. These types of transfers do not pass under a Will but rather under the terms of the contract, agreement, deed of gift or other similar instrument established by the decedent during his or her lifetime. (Such as a bank account).
The Affidavits terminating or transferring real property interests found in the Form Library will:
- Terminate a joint tenancy interest with right of survivorship;
- Terminate a community property interest with right of survivorship;
- Terminate a life estate interest in real property; and
- Transfer a beneficiary interest acquired through a Beneficiary Deed.
A.R.S. Sec. 33-431(F) governs the transfer of joint tenancy interests held in real property:
- With respect to a deceased joint tenant, the termination or extinguishment by death of that tenant’s joint tenancy with right of survivorship may be evidenced by the recordation of both of the following items in the office of the recorder of the county or counties where the real property is located:
- 1. An affidavit executed by one or more of the surviving joint tenants that includes the name of the deceased joint tenant, the date of death of the deceased joint tenant, a description of the instrument by which the right of survivorship was created including the date the instrument was recorded and the county recorder’s book and page or instrument reference number, the legal description of the real property affected by the affidavit, and the cause of death of the deceased joint tenant.
- 2. An attached death certificate of the deceased joint tenant.
A.R.S. Sec. 33-234 provides that a life estate interest created in real property terminates on the death of the interest holder. For additional information regarding future interests, estates in expectancy, created on real estate interests refer to A.R.S. Sec. 33-221 and the sections that follow 33-221.