Davidson Law Group Explains: What’s the Purpose of a Lady Bird Deed?

Estate planning attorneys have developed lady bird deeds (aka enhanced life estate deeds) as an effective way to meet the needs of their clients. If you’re considering using a type of deed in your estate plan, consider asking the Davidson Law Group to draft it. Today, our attorneys explain the purpose of a lady bird deed, how to create it, and the state requirements for validity.  

What’s the Purpose of a Lady Bird Deed?

If you own real estate, you can retain total control over the property during your lifetime with an enhanced life estate. You have the right to mortgage or sell the property without the consent of your beneficiaries, and it doesn’t transfer until you pass. The essential purpose of a lady bird deed is to avoid having the real estate go through probate upon your passing. 

Currently, Texas is one of only five states that allows a lady bird deed. It differs from transfer-on-death deeds because it’s recognized by common law rather than statutory authorization.

Related Post: The Advantages and Disadvantages of Lady Bird Deeds

Creating a Texas Lady Bird Deed

Texas attorneys have developed the exact form for an enhanced life estate deed to ensure that it meets the requirements of state title insurers. Like any deed, it must be prepared, signed, and recorded in the county records office.  

Requirements for Validity

In Texas, the requirements for validity include special language to create the enhanced life estate. Texas also has specific requirements when you prepare any deed, which include:

  • A correct legal description of real estate
  • A statement of consideration (such as the payment of money or anything else of value)
  • Clarify if multiple owners are involved, and specify how the co-owners will hold title
  • Name one or more remaining beneficiaries on the form
  • Signature and notary acknowledgments that follow Texas’ required format

If you have additional questions about the requirements or validity of lady bird deeds, consult our estate planning attorneys.

Related Post: What Are the Best Ways to Avoid Probate Court?

Contact Our Law Firm

The attorneys at Davidson Law Group are knowledgeable about lady bird deeds and the complexities of estate planning. We’ll help determine whether you can use a lady bird deed or if a trust would be better for your situation. Contact our law firm today in Fort Worth, Allen, or Tyler.