Lately, there has been a marked increase in demand for Lady Bird Deeds. A Lady Bird Deed is an enhanced life estate in which someone who owns property keeps the property, and control over it, until his or her passing. Once the owner of said property passes away, the property will transfer to the new owners with no need for probate. This is a great tool for estate planning and an effective way to avoid probate.
The Lady Bird Deed, in certain situations (under current law) can be a useful estate planning tool for someone who is currently receiving nursing home care or is intending on receiving nursing home care in the near future. A Lady Bird Deed can preserve a residence as an exempt asset for someone who is receiving Medicaid and may be used to transfer the property after death free can clear of Medicaid Estate Recovery Liens.
There are some limitations on a Lady Bird Deed; however, and a will or a trust may be better to give more flexibility. Also, a Lady Bird Deed may not be effective if there is a sizable lien on the property. If you are deeding a property to many people, you always have the risk that these people are not going to get along or have different perspectives on the use of the property.
A Lady Bird Deed is recognized under Michigan common law and Michigan Land Title Standards Act. The language from Michigan Land Title Standards Act 9.3 reads:
The holder of a life estate, coupled with an absolute power to dispose of the fee estate by inter vivos conveyance, can convey a fee simple estate during the lifetime of the holder. If the power is not exercised, the gift becomes effective.
If you are interested in learning more about Lady Bird Deeds or are ready to create an estate plan, we suggest that you find a competent and experienced estate planning and probate attorney. At The Probate Pro, we can get you started and help you avoid the probate hassle. Call us today at (833) PROBATE.