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How Does a Florida Lady Bird Deed Help With Medicaid Planning?

How Does a Florida Lady Bird Deed Help With Medicaid Planning?| Florida Estate and Elder Law Attorney Barry D. Siegel at The Siegel Law Group, P.A

Many people think they have too many assets to qualify for Medicaid assistance to help pay for healthcare, and they pay out-of-pocket for their long-term care until they have sold their home and all their other assets. But with careful Medicaid Planning, you may be able to receive the financial help you need without losing your home. A Florida Lady Bird Deed, also called an Enhanced Life Estate Deed, allows you to avoid probate and pass your property to your loved ones while maintaining eligibility for Medicaid assistance.

4 Benefits Of A Lady Bird Deed

A Lady Bird Deed as part of your Estate Plan provides many benefits to a property owner, called the grantor, who wants to protect their property and pass it to their heirs.

1. Avoid Probate
A Florida Lady Bird Deed allows you to avoid probate court, which is expensive and time-consuming. Florida Probate requires that any assets that are in your name, including your home, and do not have a beneficiary designation or a survivorship provision pass through Probate court. If you have a Lady Bird Deed, when you die your property transfers to the Deed beneficiaries who will inherit the property without going through Probate. 

2. Manage Your Property
In a traditional Life Estate Deed, management of the property is transferred to the beneficiary. In a Lady Bird Deed, the grantor retains authority over their property – including the ability to sell the property, or remove it from the Lady Bird Deed – during their lifetime. A traditional Life Estate Deed allows the grantor to live in their home during their lifetime but does not allow the grantor to sell the property or change their mind about transferring the property.

3. Maintain Medicaid Eligibility
A traditional Life Estate Deed can cause a waiting period for Medicaid benefits, or In addition to avoiding probate, you can legally avoid Florida Medicaid Estate Recovery. Florida Medicaid recovery only applies to the assets in your estate that are subject to Probate, and with a Lady Bird Deed you have already signed documents to transfer ownership of your home to another person after your death.

4. Qualify for a Florida Homestead Exemption
In the state of Florida, you can qualify for a Homestead Exemption, a $25,000 tax exemption that is applied to the first $50,000 of your property’s assessed value if your property is your permanent residence and you owned the property on January 1 of the tax year. This exemption applies to all taxes, including school district taxes.

Why Is It Called a Lady Bird Deed?
A Florida law professor was explaining how Enhanced Life Estate Deeds work and named his example couple “Lyndon” and “Ladybird” – a reference to President and First Lady Lyndon Baines and Ladybird Johnson.

A Medicaid Planning Attorney helps you create an Estate Plan with legal documents to restructure and protect your assets, such as a Lady Bird Deed. A Medicaid Planning financial strategy is important to protect you or your spouse so you can qualify for Medicaid if long-term care become necessary.

Trusted and Compassionate Florida Medicaid Planning Attorney

Give your family peace of mind and protection. With almost 20 years of Medicaid Planning experience, South Florida Attorney Barry D. Siegel at The Siegel Law Group, P.A., knows firsthand what can happen if you are unprepared for life’s greatest challenges. A knowledgeable Medicaid Planning Lawyer can provide legal guidance throughout the Probate process. Call us toll-free at 855-FLA-ESTATE or at 561-955-8515 or schedule a free consultation.

Barry Siegel is the founder and managing partner of The Siegel Law Group, P.A., a Law Firm in Boca Raton, Florida that focuses on comprehensive Estate Planning and Elder Law Planning for clients throughout South Florida. The Siegel legal team is dedicated to providing compassionate counsel and effective legal representation in matters pertaining to Estate Planning, Elder Law, Probate and Trust Administration, Asset Protection Planning, and much more. Subscribe to our newsletter for the most current legal news and updates.

2 Comments

  • bankruptcy lawyer west palm beach
    June 8, 2021 at 4:45 am

    Florida’s homestead exemption is one of the most generous in the country, allowing for an unlimited amount of equity in a home to be exempt from bankruptcy. However, because of this extreme leniency in home equity, there are other qualifications you must meet to qualify for this exemption. Learn more at https://daveroylaw.com/bankruptcy/

  • Timothy Lee Deaton, Plenary Guardian for John Medley Stipp III
    April 20, 2022 at 4:22 pm

    I am the unpaid plenary guardian for a 100% disabled American Veteran in a nursing home. He has been declared mentally incompetent by three physicians and ends up with $130/month. His trailer has been condemned, vandalized, is infested with rodents and roaches and has no utilities currently attached (but has utility liens from past non-payments) He is about 2 years behind with Wells Fargo who sends two junk mails a week, does not respond to my communication and are…well, they are a BANK! (need I say more). Along with the last 30+ pages of crapola which included an errant appraisal by their in-house person, came a one pager from a debt collector that states “”Wells Fargo, N.A. referred your loan for foreclosure proceedings.” No letter from Wells Fargo has so stated. John has but a few hundred dollars..the house – in truth – is worth less than the amount owed (which is unclear but about $50K) AND the damage to the home is in excess of 50% of its value so permits cannot be pulled for repairs through the City of Bonita Springs. HOWEVER, a private individual can do his own work without pulling permits other than structural (there are no structural defects for which permitting is needed) AND there are some private individuals that want to buy the property for cash. I have been advised by one of the HUD referrals from Wells Fargo to quit claim the property to myself and John, sell it and hold the funds in escrow (I am trustee for an escrow company) as long as I do not use the funds for myself or any purpose other than John. There is no money for attorney fees.
    At this time, I intend to proceed as follows: Send the alleged debt collector the standard FDCPA letter – which EVERY debt collector I have ever contacted then violates and continue to send materials to Wells Fargo – knowing they will be ignored as has been done for more than a year. I will likely try the Quit Claim Deed as, even if it is found to be an erroneous method, the funds will be in escrow and no one will be defrauded
    BUT – I would sure like some help for John.
    Thanks for listening: Tim Deaton; Bonita Springs Florida 239-470-8915 timdeaton@yahoo/com