Transferring property is a challenge for anyone in their estate planning journey. When a homeowner agrees with their beneficiary and wants to transfer their property after death, they need to acquire a life estate deed. The Millman Law Group, founded in 2018 by Aaron D. Millman, Esq., CPA, can help you formulate an effective life estate deed in Lake Worth, Florida. Our knowledgeable team always advocates for the needs of our clients and consistently provides excellent care and services. We consider your needs carefully before advising on the best course of action. Contact The Millman Law Group to determine whether a life estate deed should be included in your estate plan.
Why You May Need a Life Estate Deed in Florida
A life estate deed is worth considering as part of your complete estate plan. When homeowners sign this deed, they transfer part of their property ownership to another person. This can be seen as a way to “pregift” a home to an heir while retaining joint ownership before death. Life estate deeds are used to pass down family property, but they can also transfer the ownership of any land that is part of your estate.
How Does a Life Estate Deed Work?
Life estate deeds outline the joint ownership of a property. This may be used in an instance when a mother plans to transfer her home to her child after she passes away. A life estate deed can help to make this transition seamless.
In that example, the mother would establish a life estate that names her as “life tenant” and her heir as the beneficiary. The mom continues to live in her home and is responsible for paying regular property taxes and insurance.
However, she won’t have complete control over the property when using a traditional life estate deed. She would require approval from the beneficiary before making significant changes like taking out a mortgage or selling the property. She may not revoke the life estate without the heir’s consent, so all parties should be in agreement about property usage.
Another 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 Florida residents.
When you utilize a Lady Bird Deed, the grantor retains control of their property as long as they live. The homeowner can mortgage, sell and use their property without needing consent from beneficiaries. 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 Use Life Estate Deeds?
Establishing a life estate deed in Lake Worth can help your family simplify the estate planning process. When using this deed, homeowners can enjoy the following advantages:
- No Will Changes Needed: The property does not need to be listed in your will.
- Avoid Probate: After their 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 someone while they live. They do not need to transfer or move properties, and the property transfer occurs automatically upon their death.
- Emotional Relief: After signing the deed, the homeowner can relax knowing that their home will go to their chosen beneficiary.
- Avoid Gift Tax: When you transfer property as a gift rather than through a life estate deed, the property is subject to tax.
Contact The Millman Law Group if a life estate deed sounds ideal for the future of your estate.
Contact The Millman Law Group to Draft Your Life Estate Deed in Lake Worth
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.