What’s a Lady Bird deed? I thought Lady Bird was a movie…
A Lady Bird deed, also known as an Enhanced Life Estate deed, offers another way to avoid the probate process. However, Lady Bird deeds are only available in five states. Luckily, Florida is one of those states that accepts these deeds even though Enhanced Life Estate deeds aren’t based on a particular Florida statute.
A Lady Bird deed allows a person that possesses property to own that real estate until his/her death. With this deed, a person will be able to transfer his/her property to the beneficiary or beneficiaries he/she has named without the probate process. The beneficiary or beneficiaries named have no rights to the property while the current owner is alive. During the owner's lifetime, this deed allows the person full control of the property so there’s no need to worry about the prospect of having to sacrifice control over his/her real estate. A Lady Bird deed should NOT be used if a person isn't sure who to name as beneficiaries, has only minor beneficiaries or has a mortgage on the property.
Why is the Enhanced Life Estate deed often referred to as the "Lady Bird"
Jerome Ira Solkoff, co-founder of the Elder Law section of the Florida Bar, coined the term “Lady Bird"deed. When describing this idea in his book, he used Former First Lady “Lady Bird” Johnson as a character to describe this deed. As the Enhanced Life Estate deed became more popular, the name “Lady Bird” became synonymous with the deed.