Transferring property can be challenging for anyone navigating estate planning. When a homeowner agrees with their beneficiary and wants to transfer their property after death, they must establish a life estate deed. The Millman Law Group, founded in 2018 by Aaron D. Millman, Esq., CPA, can help you draw up a life estate deed in West Palm Beach, Florida. Our experienced team advocates for the needs of our clients and regularly provides satisfying services. We consider your needs carefully before advising on the best course of action. Contact The Millman Law Group to determine whether your estate plan should include a life estate deed.
How a Life Estate Deed in Florida Benefits You
A life estate deed is worth considering as a part of your complete estate plan. When homeowners sign this deed, they transfer part of their property ownership to their selected beneficiary. This can be seen as a way to “pregift” a home to an heir while retaining joint ownership during their lifetime. Life estate deeds are typically used to pass down family property, but they can also be used to transfer the ownership of land included in your estate.
How Will Your Life Estate Deed Function?
Life estate deeds outline joint ownership of a property. This might be used when a mother plans to transfer her home to her child after death. A life estate deed can prepare a more seamless transition of ownership.
In that situation, the mother would establish a life estate that names her as the “life tenant” and her heir as the beneficiary. The mother continues living in her home and is responsible for insurance and property taxes.
However, the mother in this scenario will only partially control the property when using a traditional life estate deed. She would need approval from the beneficiary before making major changes, such as taking out a mortgage or selling the property. She cannot revoke the life estate without the heir’s consent, so all parties should be in agreement about property usage.
An Alternative Option: The Lady Bird Life Estate Deed
An alternative to the life estate deed is the “Lady Bird Deed,” or enhanced life estate deed available to residents of Florida.
When you utilize a Lady Bird Deed, the grantor retains control of the property as long as they live. The homeowner can mortgage, sell, and use their property without requiring the beneficiary’s consent. A Lady Bird Deed is not considered a transfer of ownership or a gift, so it doesn’t negatively impact the taxes owed or potential Medicaid benefits.
Why Individuals Choose to Use Life Estate Deeds
Drawing up a life estate deed in West Palm Beach, FL, can help your family simplify the estate planning process. When you use this deed, homeowners can enjoy these advantages:
- No Will Changes Needed: The property does not need to be listed in the will.
- Avoid Probate: After a parent’s death, the heir becomes the new property owner without a probate court proceeding.
- 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 will occur automatically upon their death.
- Avoid Gift Tax: When you transfer your 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 their home will transfer to their preferred beneficiary.
Contact The Millman Law Group today if a life estate deed sounds appropriate for your estate plan.
Contact The Millman Law Group to Draft Your Life Estate Deed in West Palm 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.