A Lady Bird Deed is a special type of deed used as part of your estate plan. Consider this example: You own your home. When you sign a Lady Bird Deed, you totally control your home during your lifetime – you can sell it, lease it, mortgage it, etc. However, if you don’t sell your home during your lifetime, the Lady Bird Deed identifies who receives your home after you die. You might think of it as a beneficiary designation for your home. The beneficiaries can be individuals (for example, your children), or it can be a trust.
There are three main benefits of using a Lady Bird Deed: (1) it avoids Probate Court; (2) it is “Medicaid friendly”. That means if you ever need nursing home care and apply for Medicaid, your home is non-countable; and (3) the person receiving your home after your death gets a “step up in basis”, which is good for income tax purposes.
If you want to keep total control over your home or other real estate, and also avoid Probate, a Lady Bird Deed can be a great estate planning strategy when combined with your other estate planning. We offer a free case analysis to determine whether a Lady Bird Deed would be a good part of your plan. Let us know if we can help.
Glenn Matecun is a partner with the law firm of Matecun, Thomas & Olson, PLC in Howell. He is an attorney focusing on estate planning, elder law and senior Veterans’ benefits, and answers readers’ questions on legal matters affecting individuals, their families and their businesses. Email questions to [email protected], or if your question is urgent, call (517) 548-7400. Visit us at www.MichiganEstatePlans.com. The information in this column is not intended as legal advice.