If you have never heard of a lady bird deed, you’re not alone. A lady bird deed is a type of deed that will help you avoid probate at death. At the same time, this deed helps you avoid giving up control of your property during your lifetime.
Lady bird deeds are not recognized in all states, but they are in Texas as of 2021. That’s good news for you, because you can use this unique deed to protect your property and family when estate planning.
How does a lady bird deed work?
A lady bird deed works by helping you divide ownership of your real estate into two different time periods. The first time period is during your lifetime. The second is after.
In this deed, you can name organization, people or trusts to inherit your property upon your death. These people will be known as remainder beneficiaries.
During your lifetime, your real estate will be considered “enhanced.” With this, you can change your mind about how you pass on the property or decide to sell. In either case, you don’t have to inform the beneficiaries.
What happens when you die?
When you pass away, the property will move on to your beneficiaries. The property won’t have to go through probate. Instead, the property and title will automatically transfer on death.
Lady bird deeds are only available in five states
Lady bird deeds aren’t available in every state, so if you’ve just come to Texas or lived in a state outside of Florida, Michigan, West Virginia, Vermont or Texas in the past, then you may want to look into a lady bird deed as a part of your estate plan.
This deed can be a helpful estate planning tool to use if you want to help your loved ones avoid probate. It will give you better control of your property during your lifetime and can even give you some extra help when you’re planning for Medicaid in the future. This is something you should discuss as you build your estate plan, so you get all the possible protections you can.