THE LADY BIRD DEED
W. Grady Huie has expertise working with clients to implement a Lady Bird deed to avoid probate. This type of estate deed is also known as an enhanced life estate deed. Florida is one of only a handful of states that recognize Lady Bird deeds.
The Lady Bird deed allows a client’s real estate property (typically a home) to pass directly to their heirs possibly avoiding probate and yet allowing them to retain ownership. The process is an effective way to transfer property at death, without the need for probate administration.
Here’s how it works. You sign a deed transferring your real estate to a person or group at your death, but retain the right to sell, use or deal with the property during your lifetime. If you decide to sell the property during your lifetime, you can do so without the consent of your beneficiaries. Upon your death, your beneficiaries file your death certificate in the land records. This allows the property to be transferred without the need for probate.
The advantage of the Lady Bird deed is it avoids the problem of a current owner of property of having to obtain consent of the beneficiaries if they choose to sell, mortgage, convey, gift, or terminate their interest.