Transferring property is a major concern of most people during estate planning. A life estate deed is essential when a homeowner is aligned with their beneficiary and wants to transfer their property as seamlessly as possible. The Millman Law Group, founded in 2018 by Aaron D. Millman, Esq., CPA, can help you draw up an effective life estate deed in Palm Beach County. Our team of professionals always advocates for our clients and provides consistent and professional services. We consider each family’s unique needs before advising the best course of action. The Millman Law Group in Palm Beach County will help you determine whether a life estate deed is the best choice for managing your estate.
The Purpose of Your Life Estate Deed
You may consider adding a life estate deed when estate planning. When homeowners sign this document, they pass part of their property ownership to another person. This can be considered a way to “pregift” a home to heirs while retaining joint ownership. Life estate deeds are frequently used to pass down homes, but they can be used to transfer ownership of any land that is part of your estate.
How Does Your Life Estate Deed Work?
Life estate deeds outline the legal joint ownership of a property. For instance, if a mother wants to transfer her home to her daughter when she dies, a life estate deed can make this transaction as easy as possible.
In that case, the mother would establish a life estate that names her as the tenant and her heir as the beneficiary or remainderman. The mom can continue to live in her house for as long as she wants and is responsible for paying property tax and insurance.
However, the mother would no longer have total control over her house when using a traditional life estate deed. She would require approval from her heir before making significant changes like selling the home or taking out a mortgage. She cannot revoke the life estate without the heir’s consent, so all involved parties must be on the same page.
Consider The Lady Bird Life Estate Deed
Fortunately, there is another life estate option. A “Lady Bird Deed,” also known as an enhanced life estate deed, is available in Florida and some other states.
When you use a Lady Bird Deed, the grantor maintains total control of their property during their lifetime. The homeowner can sell, use, and mortgage the property without consent from the beneficiaries. A Lady Bird Deed is not considered a gift or transfer of ownership, so it will not negatively impact any taxes owed or Medicaid benefits.
The Benefits of Life Estate Deeds
Establishing a life estate deed in Palm Beach County can help families simplify the estate planning process. When using this deed, homeowners enjoy the following advantages:
- Emotional Relief: After you sign the deed, the property owner can relax knowing that their property will go to their chosen heir.
- Avoid Probate: After the parent’s death, the heir can become the new property owner without a probate court proceeding.
- Avoid Gift Tax: When you transfer property as a gift, instead of through a life estate deed, the property is subject to tax.
- No Will Changes Necessary: The property does not have to be included in your will.
- Retain Home Ownership: A life estate deed provides housing for a person for the rest of their life. No transfer or moving is required before they pass, and the property transfer occurs instantly.
Contact The Millman Law Group if a life estate deed sounds like the best option for your property.
Contact The Millman Law Group to Draft Your Life Estate Deed in Palm Beach 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.