Transferring property is difficult for anyone navigating estate planning. When a homeowner agrees with their beneficiary and wants to transfer their property after death, they need to establish a life estate deed. The Millman Law Group, established in 2018 by Aaron D. Millman, Esq., CPA, can help you formulate a life estate deed in Highland Beach, Florida. Our experienced team advocates for the needs of our clients and consistently provides satisfying care and services. We consider your needs carefully before advising on the ideal course of action. Contact The Millman Law Group to determine whether a life estate deed should be a part of your estate plan.
How You Can Benefit From a Life Estate Deed in Florida
A life estate deed is worth considering as one part of your complete estate plan. When homeowners sign this deed, they transfer part of their property ownership to their chosen beneficiary. This can be seen as a way to “pregift” a home to an heir while retaining joint ownership before death. Life estate deeds are typically used to pass down family property, but they can also transfer the ownership of any land included in your estate.
How Does a Life Estate Deed Function?
Life estate deeds outline the joint ownership of a property. This might be used in an instance when a mother plans to transfer her home to her child after the mother’s death. A life estate deed can help to make a seamless transition of ownership.
In that scenario, the mother would establish a life estate that names her as a “life tenant” and her heir as the beneficiary. The mom continues to live in her home and is responsible for paying for insurance and property taxes.
However, she will not have complete control over the property when using a traditional life estate deed. The mother would need approval from the beneficiary before making significant changes like taking out a mortgage or selling the property. She cannot revoke the life estate without the heir’s consent, so all parties should first be in agreement about property usage.
An Alternative Option: The Lady Bird Life Estate Deed
An alternative option to the life estate deed is the “Lady Bird Deed,” or enhanced life estate deed available to Florida residents.
When you utilize a Lady Bird Deed, the grantor retains control of their property as long as they are alive. The homeowner can mortgage, sell, and use their property without needing the beneficiary’s consent. A Lady Bird Deed is not considered a transfer of ownership or a gift, so it does not negatively impact the taxes owed or Medicaid benefits.
Why Do People Choose to Use Life Estate Deeds?
Formulating a life estate deed in Highland Beach, FL, can help your family simplify the estate planning process. When you use this deed, homeowners can enjoy the following advantages:
- Avoid Probate: After their parent’s death, the heir becomes the new property owner without a probate court proceeding.
- No Will Changes Needed: The property does not need to be listed in the will.
- Retain Home Ownership: A life estate deed provides a home for a person as long as they live. They do not need to transfer or move properties, and the property transfer automatically occurs upon their death.
- Avoid Gift Tax: When you transfer property as a gift rather than through a life estate deed, the property will be subject to tax.
- Emotional Relief: After signing the deed, the homeowner can relax knowing that their home will transfer to their chosen beneficiary.
Reach out to The Millman Law Group today if a life estate deed sounds like something your estate plan can use.
Contact The Millman Law Group to Draft Your Life Estate Deed in Highland 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.