Enhanced Life Estate
The Enhanced Life Estate Deed is a tool only recognized in a few states that can assist a homeowner in probate avoidance. It functions like a standard life estate deed but is enhanced by the added power for the owner to sell, convey, mortgage, lease, or otherwise dispose the property during their lifetime without obtaining permission from the named beneficiaries.
Upon the death of the owner, the property transfers to the beneficiaries by operation of law instead of through a probate transaction. This method of property conveyance can be beneficial when it comes to Medicaid planning and there are other tax benefits, as well.
An Enhanced Life Estate Deed often goes by the nickname, “Ladybird” deed, which one might think was named after the wife of former United States President, Lyndon B. Johnson. Contrary to belief, this misnomer stems from a Florida attorney’s use of Lady Bird Johnson’s name in his fact patterns to illustrate the use of this type of deed when he taught the concept.
As with any estate planning tool, there can be limitations and other considerations which may impact eligibility and feasibility for this process.
Please contact our office today to see if a Ladybird Deed is appropriate for your individual needs.