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.