Transferring property is a challenge for anyone in their estate planning journey. When a homeowner is in agreement with their beneficiary and wants to transfer that property, they must acquire a life estate deed. The Millman Law Group, established by Aaron D. Millman, Esq., CPA, will help you formulate an effective life estate deed in Parkland, Florida. Our experienced team always advocates for our clients and provides consistent care and reliable services. We consider every family’s needs before advising on the ideal course of action. Contact The Millman Law Group to determine whether a life estate deed can be a crucial part of your estate plan.
The Purpose of a Life Estate Deed in Florida
A life estate deed is worth considering as part of your 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 homes, but they can also transfer the ownership of any land that is a part of your estate.
How Do Life Estate Deeds Work?
Life estate deeds outline the joint ownership of a property. For example, if a mother plans to transfer her home to her child after she passes away, a life estate deed can make this transition as seamless as possible.
In that example, the mother will establish a life estate that names her as the “life tenant” and her heir as beneficiary. The mother will continue living in her home and remain responsible for paying regular property taxes and insurance.
The mother wouldn’t have complete control over the property when using a traditional life estate deed. She would require approval from the beneficiary before making changes, such as taking out a mortgage or selling the property. She also may not revoke the life estate without the heir’s consent, so all involved parties must be on the same page.
An Alternate Choice: The Lady Bird Life Estate Deed
Fortunately, you can choose an alternative to the life estate deed. This is a “Lady Bird Deed,” or enhanced life estate deed, and is available for Florida residents.
When you utilize a Lady Bird Deed, the grantor retains control of their property during their lifetime. The homeowner can mortgage, sell, and use the property without consent from the beneficiaries. A Lady Bird Deed is not considered a transfer of ownership or gift, so it will not negatively impact the taxes owed or Medicaid benefits.
Why Should You Use a Life Estate Deed?
Establishing a life estate deed in Parkland can help your family simplify the estate planning process. When using this document, homeowners can enjoy the following benefits:
- 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 your will.
- Emotional Relief: After signing the deed, the homeowner can rest knowing that their home will go to their chosen heir.
- Retain Home Ownership: A life estate deed provides a home for a person while they live. Before they die, no transfer or moving is required, and the property transfer occurs automatically upon their death.
- Avoid Gift Tax: When you transfer property as a gift rather than through a life estate deed, the property is subject to tax.
Contact our team at The Millman Law Group if a life estate deed sounds ideal for passing down your family property.
Contact The Millman Law Group to Draft Your Life Estate Deed in Parkland
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.