Ask Terry Questions ladybird deed

ladybird deed

By Terry Savage on August 26, 2018 | Financial Planning / Retirement

im hearing so much now about this ladybird deed. 60 years old . 3 children , one i do not speak with, live in florida. what are your thoughts? i read your article in tampa times which was informative. also with the ladybird deed do i need to contact the (home ) insurance company if i decide to do this. One more question do i need an official will if i do this. All my accounts and such are intrust for my 2 children. thanks

Terry Says

Honestly, I had to do some research, because I had never heard the term “ladybird deed”! Here’s what I learned by way of definition: “A “Lady Bird” deed, it can be used to transfer ownership of real estate outside of probate to a beneficiary named in the deed. The Florida lawyer who created the deed arbitrarily named it after President Johnson’s wife.”

Basically, this is the way to avoid probate (the process of changing title — and nothing to do with estate taxes — when you die. I much prefer the creation of a Revocable Living Trust and re-titling your assets such as your home in the name of your trust. You are the trustee while you are alive and able to act on your own behalf. But when you die —or if you become incapacitated — the successor trustee you have named can take over on your behalf.

A revocable living trust works not only after your death — but while you are alive. And what if they needed to sell the house to pay for a nice nursing facility? That can’t happen with a ladybird deed, which goes into effect only after your death. I suggest you contact an estate planning attorney in your state and discuss a simple revocable living trust. Then remember to transfer title to your home to the trust. There is no tax consequence, and you can always sell the house if you want. And you might want to re-title the CDs in the name of the trust as well, in case your successor needs to use the money for your care when you cannot make decisions.

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