Enhanced Life Estate Deeds
Many people mistakenly believe that if they have a last will and testament that their estate planning is complete. Of course, there are no legal requirements for putting any end-of-life plans in place, but we do have recommendations that we suggest you consider carefully.
If transferring ownership of your property is a high priority, there is an option that you might not have considered yet. An enhanced life estate deed, also known as a lady bird deed, can be an advantage during the Florida probate process, simply because you can avoid it altogether.
If you want to learn more about this option and how it fits within your already existing estate plan, we can answer any questions you might have, including about our flat-fee prices and how they benefit you.
Why choose an enhanced life estate deed?
It avoids probate. Yes, and it is worth repeating. Florida probate is notoriously costly and lengthy. Any effort you can make to avoid it is well worth it. You also maintain control of the property during your lifetime, even after the deed has been signed. However, this document is not universally advantageous, so before you make any final decisions, we recommend you seek advice from an attorney familiar with estate planning and the state’s laws.
As a Florida resident, you are in a unique position to benefit from this type of deed, as currently, only five states allow them. Our legal team has decades of experience in probate law, and we are ready to put our skills to work for you.
What are the potential drawbacks of a lady bird deed?
While it can be an incredible tool in the execution of your estate plan and the transition of your property, there are always potential disadvantages to any option. Flexibility is somewhat limited with a lady bird deed, and you may face difficulties in certain situations. If the beneficiary passes before you do, it can be complicated to change the terms of an enhanced life estate deed.
Because this is not a common document, some financial institutions are not familiar with how to handle it. There can also be tax and creditor disadvantages, which is why it is best to speak with us so we can help you weigh the good against the bad. If you’re concerned about creditor claims, this may not be the best choice for you. Do you currently have a spouse or minor children? You may not want to complete an enhanced life estate deed just yet.
With careful planning and the expertise of our attorneys on your side, you can feel empowered to make an informed decision. If you decide it is in your best interest to implement this type of document, we can draft your enhanced life estate deed and make it work for you.
Reach out to us at 727-477-2255 to schedule a consultation and discuss your options.