Transferring property is a significant concern for anyone interested in estate planning. A life estate deed is needed when a homeowner is aligned with their beneficiary and wants to transfer their property as efficiently as possible. The Millman Law Group, founded by Aaron D. Millman, Esq., CPA, in 2018, can help you formulate an effective life estate deed in Broward County, Florida. Our professional team always advocates for our clients and provides consistent care and trustworthy services. We consider every family’s unique needs before advising on the best course of action. Contact The Millman Law Group today to determine whether a life estate deed can help you manage your estate.
The Purpose of a Life Estate Deed
A life estate deed is always worth considering when you start estate planning. When homeowners sign this document, they transfer part of their property ownership to another person. This can be viewed as a way to “pregift” a home to an heir while retaining joint ownership before death. Life estate deeds are often used to pass down family homes, but they can also be used to transfer the ownership of any land that is part of your estate.
How Does a Life Estate Deed Work?
Life estate deeds outline legal joint ownership of a property. For example, if a mother wants to transfer her home to her daughter when she passes away, a life estate deed can help make this transaction seamless.
In that example, the mother would establish a life estate that names her as the tenant and her heir as beneficiary or remainderman. The mother can then continue living in her home and remain responsible for paying property taxes and insurance.
However, the mother wouldn’t have total control over the property when using this traditional life estate deed. She would need approval from her heir before making changes like taking out a mortgage or selling the home. She also cannot revoke the life estate without the heir’s consent, so all involved parties must be in agreement.
An Alternative Option: The Lady Bird Life Estate Deed
Fortunately, there is an alternative option to the life estate deed. A “Lady Bird Deed,” or enhanced life estate deed, is available in Florida.
When you use a Lady Bird Deed, the grantor keeps control of their property during their lifetime. The homeowner can sell, mortgage, and use the property without consent from beneficiaries first. A Lady Bird Deed is not considered a transfer of ownership or a gift, so it doesn’t negatively impact taxes owed or Medicaid benefits.
Why Use Life Estate Deeds?
Establishing a life estate deed in Broward County can help families simplify the estate planning process. When using this estate planning tool, homeowners can enjoy the following benefits:
- Avoid Probate: After the parent’s death, the heir will become the new property owner without a probate court proceeding.
- Emotional Relief: After signing the deed, the property owner can know their property will go to their chosen heir.
- No Will Changes Necessary: The property doesn’t need to be included in your will.
- Avoid Gift Tax: When you transfer your property as a gift rather than through a life estate deed, the property is subject to tax.
- Retain home Ownership: A life estate deed provides a home for a person until they die. Before they pass, no transfer or moving is required, and the property transfer occurs automatically upon their death.
Reach out to The Millman Law Group if a life estate deed sounds like the ideal option for passing down your property.
Contact The Millman Law Group to Draft Your Life Estate Deed in Broward County
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.