Elder Law Minute: Beneficiary Deeds and Transfer on Death Instruments

In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson discusses how to leave real estate to family members without using a will or living trust. In Missouri, a beneficiary deed can be used. In Illinois, a Transfer on Death Instrument is used. However, neither one of them can protect your home against a Medicaid lien.

Hi, I’m Wes Coulson and this is your Elder Law Minute. What question people sometimes ask is, “Is there a way to leave real estate to family members without needing to have a will or a living trust?”

In Missouri, that option has been available for a long time through something called a beneficiary deed. In Illinois, it hasn’t been until the beginning of this year. Now Illinois has something new that’s sort of the equivalent of a beneficiary deed called a transfer on death instrument.

They can be a good idea in some situations, but you need to be aware of an important limitation. Neither one of them is going to protect your home from Medicaid estate recovery if you end up in a nursing home. There are ways that we can accomplish that, but they’re something different from this. So, good news, bad news on beneficiary deeds and transfer on death instruments.

For more information on Estate Planning, visit these articles:


“Your Trusted Advisor on the Elder Care Journey”

Coulson Elder Law is dedicated to providing families in the St. Louis area with their Elder Law needs. Our practice areas include Asset Preservation Planning, Veterans Benefits, Medicaid Eligibility, Alzheimer’s Planning, Special Needs Planning, Estate Planning and more. We understand the financial challenges you may face as you and your loved ones grow older. At Coulson Elder Law, our clients’ well-being is our number one priority. For immediate help, call (877)995-6876 or Contact Us and we will get in touch as soon as possible.