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Monday, February 22, 2021

What Is a Lady Bird Deed?

Despite its funny name, the lady bird deed is a useful estate planning tool with which all property owners in Michigan should familiarize themselves. As a property owner, if you want to avoid probate in Michigan, a last will and testament, commonly referred to as a will, simply won’t cut it. With a lady bird deed, however, you can rest assured that your property will pass along without going through the expensive and slow probate process. In this article, we examine the lady bird deed.

Purpose of the Lady Bird Deed

Real property, such as a home or vacation rental, that is owned by one or more individuals must go through probate when the final living owner passes away. In addition, probate must be filed in the county where the property is located. The result of this is a time-consuming, difficult, and expensive process.

Luckily, there is a solution available that allows a property owner to maintain full control of his or her property during life, avoid probate, and ensure that his or her property passes to the appropriate person after death—this solution is the lady bird deed.

Probate Avoidance with a Lady Bird Deed

In order to avoid probate, a property owner in Michigan may use a lady bird deed. A lady bird deed, also known as an enhanced life estate deed, lady bird trust, or a transfer on death deed, allows a property owner or property owners to designate an individual, trust, or group of individuals to directly inherit his or her property. The result of this is that a person who executes a lady bird deed passes his or her property along automatically upon death. Why is this significant? It completely bypasses the probate process. And not only will the property avoid probate, but the property owner retains his or her rights during life to sell, mortgage, lease, rent, or otherwise alter or dispose of the property as he or she wishes without having to obtain permission or signatures from named beneficiaries.

Ultimately, the lady bird deed allows a property owner to retain full control of his or her property while simultaneously avoiding the probate process. This saves property owners and their families a lot of time, money, and heartache. Overall, the lady bird deed is an excellent estate planning option.

Contact Our Experienced Michigan Estate Planning Attorney Today

If you would like to explore your estate planning options in Michigan, you need the assistance of an experienced Michigan estate planning attorney. A Michigan estate planning attorney will assist you with all aspects of estate planning, ensuring that you and your loved ones are fully protected. If you are ready to begin the Michigan estate planning process, please contact one of our experienced Michigan attorneys as soon as possible for a free and confidential initial consultation.


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