What is a Lady Bird Deed?
A Lady Bird Deed is the nickname for an enhanced life estate deed which is used to convey property to heirs and avoid probate. This type of deed got its nickname because it was the type supposedly used by President Lyndon B. Johnson to convey some of his real estate to his wife, Lady Bird Johnson.
The Lady Bird Deed allows a grantor to transfer property while retaining some particularly interesting features:
- The grantor retains homestead, creditor and tax exemptions
- The Deed protects the grantor's home from Medicaid claims during the grantor's lifetime
- The property passes to the recipient outside of probate without Medicaid claims and liens upon the death of the grantor
- The grantor retains the right to sell or otherwise dispose of the property without the consent of the beneficiaries
If you are married and wish to transfer your property to someone other than your spouse via a Lady Bird Deed, you must get your spouse to waive Texas homestead rights in a written agreement. This scenario might be applicable where a grantor remarried late in life but wants to leave his home to his children rather than his new spouse, particularly where the new spouse has sufficient assets.
After your death, your new spouse has the option to continue living in the home, even though someone else holds legal title. Other issues can crop up at this point, such as who is responsible for paying property taxes and carrying homeowners insurance. The best course of action is to make sure everyone understands their rights and obligations in a written agreement before you're gone.
If you are considering transferring property to another person to avoid probate or minimize estate taxes, call an experienced estate planning lawyer at the Peterson Law Group. Our experienced Conroe, Texas attorneys help clients develop comprehensive estate plans, including drafting will and various trusts to fit their estate planning needs. Call us at 936-337-4681 or 979-703-7014 or contact us online to arrange an appointment.
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