In meeting with hundreds and hundreds, maybe thousands of clients over the years who have come in and wanted to get their estate affairs in order, many times we are told I just want to put my kids on the house with me that way it just goes to them when I die. Most of the time we are advising against doing that because that creates a current ownership interest in your home.
While today maybe your kids are all well behaved and their spouses are well behaved, down the road they may say, I’m a co-owner in this piece of property this home and since I’m a co-owner, I want my money out of it. I want to sell my interest or things of that nature. So, putting your children or anyone else on the home with you can be a very risky and dangerous thing to do.
So, there is a tool that is oftentimes referred to as a lady bird deed or an enhanced life estate deed that can be used in the right situations; where you retain ownership, but at the time of your death you can pass the house on to those who you want, typically children, but it doesn’t have to be. And that your homestead there, maybe other particular rights you have to be careful of, but a ladybird deed is an essential estate planning tool to consider with the advice of an attorney in formulating your estate plan.
That’s usually what people worry about, I just want this to go easy and smooth and I want this property or house to go to those people without courts, creditor claims, and delays. So, considering the use of a ladybird deed is something that you would want to factor but you can’t just say that’s what I want. We do have people come in all the time and say, “I want or I need a trust,” many, many times that is not actually the case. What they need is legal advice concerning whether that’s an appropriate tool to accomplish their wishes under their circumstances, and a lady Birdie should be treated just the same. Speak to a qualified and experienced estate planning attorney about whether a lady bird deed is right for you, in your particular situation, and with what you are trying to accomplish.