Have you ever heard of a Lady Bird Deed?

Dated: September 9 2022

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In the state of Florida, a Lady Bird Deed is a legal form that transfers property upon one's death inexpensively and without having to go through probate. It allows the current property owner to use and control the property during the owner's lifetime. Upon the death of the current property owner, the property will automatically transfer ownership to the designated beneficiaries. Another term for a Lady Bird Deed is Enhanced Life Estate Deed.

The Enhanced Life Estate is the key feature of a lady bird deed. Only states that allow enchanced life estates can have a lady bird deed. The enhanced life estate holder, life tenant, is the person who has legal control of the property after the lady bird deed is executed. The life estate is enhanced because the life tenant retains full power and authority of the property and can sell, convey, mortgage, or lease the property if they so choose.

In order for a Lady Bird Deed to be valid in the state of Florida it must include the following:

  1. Grantor: Current Property Owner
  2. Enhanced Life Estate: The power to control the property during the current owner's lifetime
  3. Remainder Beneficiary: The person(s) who will inherit the property after the owner's death
  4. Legal Description: A formal description used to identify the property
  5. Homestead Provisions: For homestead properties, a paragraph that allows the owner to keep the homestead exemption.

A lady bird deed avoids probate, can be obtained for a low cost, is simple to obtain and revocable. The Grantor can change their mind at any point during their lifetime and has the ability to cancel the lady bird deed entirely or choose a new beneficiary. 

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