Attorneys Stephen Korshak and Lee Karina Dani

Florida is one of 5 states that allow a lady bird deed

On Behalf of | Jul 19, 2021 | Real Estate Transactions |

Quitclaim deeds are popular and efficient ways to transfer real estate from one owner to another. You don’t have to do a title search which is often necessary for other kinds of deeds, like warranty deeds.

There are different kinds of quitclaim deeds that people can use to transfer ownership from one person to another. One of the more unique quitclaim deeds is the enhanced life estate deed, also known as the lady bird deed.

These documents are more rare than basic quitclaim deeds, as only five states recognize them. In addition to Florida, lady bird deeds are legal in Texas, West Virginia, Vermont and Michigan. What does someone use a lady bird deed for?

Property owners can transfer ownership without leaving

Those who own real estate often only have three choices when they get older. They can sell the home themselves and move elsewhere while living off of the proceeds. They can transfer the property to their family and move out, or they can retain ownership of the property and include it in their estate.

The lady bird deed provides a third option. When someone uses an enhanced life estate deed, they can transfer the legal ownership of the property to the next generation, often called the remaindermen.

Although they technically own the property,  they cannot sell the property or evict the previous owner, now the life tenant.

The life tenant can sell the property or can live in the home for the rest of their life. A lady bird deed can effectively bypass the transfer of real estate in probate without endangering someone’s living circumstances.

Boilerplate documents don’t work for special circumstances

There are multiple different websites that allow people to download, cut and paste legal documents at no charge. Doing so might seem like a quick and easy solution when planning your estate or transferring property.

However, especially if you want to create a specialized document like an enhanced life estate deed which must include specific language and protections for the person granting the property, random online documents won’t be the best solution. Specific, custom-made documents will offer far more protection than a generic form.

Recognizing your needs and integrating the right language into the quitclaim deed used for your estate planning will help ensure you secure the outcome you want.