Transferring property is often a primary concern during estate planning. However, if a homeowner is aligned with a beneficiary and wants to transfer property ownership in the easiest way possible, a life estate deed can help them accomplish this. The Millman Law Group, founded in 2018 by Aaron D. Millman, Esq., CPA, can help you plan your ideal life estate deed in Delray Beach. Our team of knowledgeable attorneys always advocates for our clients and provides consistent, patient, and professional services. Every household’s estate needs are different, so we listen carefully before advising. The Millman Law Group in Delray Beach can help you discover whether a life estate deed is the best decision for your personal interests.
The Primary Purpose of a Life Estate Deed
When estate planning, you may consider signing a life estate deed. When a homeowner signs this document, they are passing part of their homeownership to another person. This can be viewed as a way to “pregift” your home to your heirs while retaining joint ownership. Life estate deeds are often used for homes, but they can be used to transfer ownership of any land you own.
What Does a Life Estate Deed Do?
Life estate deeds outline legal joint ownership of a property. For example, if a mother wants to pass her home down to her son when she passes away, she can use a life estate deed to make the transaction as smooth as possible.
The mother would establish a life estate for her home, making her the life tenant and her heir the remainderman or beneficiary. The mom can then continue to live in her house for as long as she wants while remaining responsible for property tax and insurance payments.
However, the mother would no longer have complete control over her house when using this traditional life estate deed. She will need approval from her heir when making significant changes like selling the home or taking out a mortgage. She cannot revoke this life estate without his consent, so it is crucial to ensure that this is the best decision for all involved parties.
A Second Option: The Lady Bird Life Estate Deed
Fortunately, there is a second life estate option. Property owners can use a “Lady Bird Deed” or enhanced life estate deed in certain states, including Florida.
By using a Lady Bird Deed, the grantor maintains complete control of their property during their lifetime. The homeowner may sell, use, and mortgage the property without needing the consent of their beneficiaries. Executing a Lady Bird Deed is not considered a transfer of ownership or a gift, so it will not negatively impact Medicaid benefits or taxes owed.
The Benefits of Life Estate Deeds
Drawing up a life estate deed in Delray Beach can be very helpful when families hope to simplify the estate planning process. When using this deed, homeowners can benefit from these advantages:
- Avoid Probate: After a parent dies, the heir becomes the new property owner without a probate court proceeding.
- No Will Necessary: The property does not need to be included in a will.
- Emotional Relief: After signing the deed, the homeowner can experience relief knowing that their property will go to their chosen heir.
- Avoid Gift Tax: A life estate deed is often preferable to transferring the property as a gift from the parent to the heir because the gift is subject to tax.
- A Home: A life estate deed provides housing for someone for the rest of their life. There is no moving or transfer required before they pass, and the transfer of property happens instantly.
If a life estate deed sounds like the best option for your property, contact The Millman Law Group today.
Contact The Millman Law Group to Draft Your Life Estate Deed in Delray Beach
Millman Law Group, PLLC is one of the only law firms that offers life planning in South Florida. From life care planning to the preparation of detailed estate plans, Millman Law Group has committed to serving Floridian elderly communities in Boca Raton, Palm Beach County, Ocean Ridge, Hillsboro Beach, and many other areas since 2018. Our dedicated team specializes in special needs trusts and catering to any age demographic because we know that it’s never too early to start preparing for your future. For the latest news in estate planning and elder care law, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. You can also contact us at 561-463-6480.