Estate Planning: Lady Bird Deed

The term "Lady Bird Deed" is a nickname given to the Enhanced Life Estate Deed which is used to convey property to your heirs outside of probate. 

The nickname "Lady Bird" was given to the deed after President Lyndon B. Johnson allegedly used this type of deed to convey some of his real property to his wife Lady Bird. 

So why would President Johnson use this type of deed?

Lady Bird Deed Features
The Lady Bird Deed is a variation of the quit claim deed with certain "enhanced" features. These features include:

(1) allowing the property owner to retain his homestead creditor and tax exemptions;

(2) keeping the property owner's home exempt from Medicaid claims during his lifetime;

(3) allowing the property owner to pass the property to his heirs outside of probate upon death free of Medicaid claims and liens; and

(4) allowing the property owner to sell or otherwise dispose of the property without the consent of the beneficiaries.

It is a specially designed instrument that is only available in certain states. 

Like the traditional Life Estate Deed there is often no capital gains tax if the property is sold shortly after your death. It goes beyond a life estate deed, because not only does the property owner get to live there for life, but the owner also reserves the right to sell or otherwise dispose of the property without the consent of the heirs. 

See also my articles on the Florida Enhanced Life Estate Deed, Texas Enhanced Life Estate Deed, Ohio Enhanced Life Estate Deed, and Kansas Enhanced Life Estate Deed.
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