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Lady bird deed - Legal doc for conveying property to heirs

I have heard that lady bird deed can be used to avoid probate but not aware of the actual procedure for it. please help

colin's picture
colin | Joined: June 30, 2006 02:50 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Hi Jholzer,

Welcome to Mortgagefit forum.

Ladybird deed or Enhanced life estate deed can be used to avoid probate procedure.

Let me explain how it works.

Owner(s)/grantor(s) of the house make a deed and name his beneficiaries as grantee(s). With such a deed the person retains a life estate upon the property with the right to sell the said property any time he likes. By making the deed:

  • Ownership remains with the grantors,
  • The grantors retains the right to revoke the deed at any time and
  • If the property is not sold during the lifetime of the grantors, then it passes on to the named grantees without the need for a probate after the death of the last grantor.

Let me know if you have any other question about this type of deed.

Colin

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carnahandavid's picture
carnahandavid | Joined: December 21, 2006 04:07 pm | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Hi Jholzer,

I have some information on why it is called "Ladybird Deed".

President Lyndon B. Johnson once used this deed to transfer property in his wife’s name, "Lady Bird" Johnson. Henceforth, this deed got recognized by her name.

David

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous | Joined: June 8, 2004 01:06 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Thanks for the information, so is there any difference between ladybird and a regular life estate deed?

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blue's picture
blue | Joined: October 21, 2005 09:17 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Hi Jholzer,

Welcome back.

In a regular life estate deed, the owner of the property retains a life estate and continues to use the property during his life time. But he cannot sell the property without the agreement & participation of the named beneficiary.

Whereas in Ladybird deed the owner retains his sole right of selling the property, giving it to any other person or change the title without requiring consent from the beneficiary.

Thanks
Blue

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous | Joined: June 8, 2004 01:06 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Another advantage of Ladybird deed is that the property is not subject to any liens that may arise against the named beneficiaries of the property.

It means that if there are judgment liens, tax liens or any other type of lien against the beneficiary, those liens will not get attached to the property.

B.S.

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Caron's picture
Caron | Joined: July 19, 2005 08:37 pm | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Florida, Texas, Ohio, California, Kansas are some of the states where ladybird deed is applicable. It acts an alternative option to traditional life estate deed.

However, the deed is not used in cases where a life estate can result in too much of capital gains taxation. In such cases, a living trust can be used.

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous | Joined: June 8, 2004 01:06 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

My mother is a widow and she is wondering if a Lady Bird Deed would protect her house from having to be sold to pay for a nursing home should she ever end up being in one.

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adonis's picture
adonis | Joined: October 22, 2005 05:04 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Welcome Drj,

Your mother can protect her house being sold off by using the ladybird deed. This type of deed helps the grantor to retain ownership of property throughout his lifetime with the right to sell it whenever required. The grantee or the beneficiary can only sell the property after the grantor's death.

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous | Joined: June 8, 2004 01:06 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

My father (widowed) is in a nursing home and is applying for medicaid. His only asset is his home. I was told that he needs a Lady Bird Deed to protect his home from being taken by medicaid for nursing home charges. My sister is trying to quit claim the deed with the following wording: Frank Trico, a single person, 1st party to, Carol Frank, a single person and not as tenant in common, reserving unto Grantor a life estate, without any liability for waste, second party whose post office is 8888 second st...Orlando, FL
Witnesseth, that the said first party, for and in consideration of Ten and No/100 dollars by second party, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowleded, has remised, released and quit-claimed, and by these presents does remise, release and quit-claim unto the said party of the second part all the right, title, interest, claim and demand which the said first party has in and to the following decribed lot, piece, or parcel of land , situate, lying and being in the County of........
To me this is a [url=http://www.mortgagefit.com/quitclaim-deed.html]Quit Claim Deed[/url] and she is not following the Lady Bird rules.....please help. Thank you.

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colin's picture
colin | Joined: June 30, 2006 02:50 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Hi Sammy,

Welcome to Mortgagefit forum.

Your sister is making a quit claim deed with your father named as the grantor who will have a life estate meaning until his death he will have ownership rights but will not have the right to sell the home. While if a lady bird deed is used then he will retain his right to sell the home any time he wishes.

In your situation a quit claim deed will also serve the purpose of saving the home from being taken to pay for nursing home charges. The reason is that after home is quit claimed it will not remain his property and any claim cannot be placed against property which is not part of his assets.

Colin

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous | Joined: June 8, 2004 01:06 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Yes, it seems to be a quitclaim deed with a life estate clause attached to it. It's not a ladybird deed. But I agree with Colin. A quitclaim can also serve your purpose here.

If the house is quitclaimed to you, it will prevent Medicaid from putting a lien on it for up to the full value of the assistance provided to your father.

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Caron's picture
Caron | Joined: July 19, 2005 08:37 pm | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Hi Sammy,

I think a quitclaim deed won't be applicable here. This is because when you quitclaim/transfer property for less than fair market value, the grantor becomes ineligible for the Medicaid benefits for as long as 5 years after the date when the transfer took place. However, the time period for ineligibility of the Medicaid benefits may vary from state to state.

In my opinion, a ladybird deed or enhanced life estate deed will be helpful. Such a deed would allow your father to retain his property which can be exempted from Medicaid claims in his lifetime. Also, the heirs or the beneficiaries can get the property after the death of your father and the home will still be free of Medicaid claims and liens.

I shall suggest that you consult an attorney and ask him to draft a ladybird deed based on the trems and conditions that will be helpful for you to inherit the property free of medicaid claims.

Good luck!!

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous | Joined: June 8, 2004 01:06 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

First of all, I would like to know about the state where you reside as the laws on Medicaid may vary from state to state.

I can inform you about laws in Florida. You can then check if the same laws apply in your state.

In Florida, a person applying for Medicaid benefits can protect his/her home from the creditors and lenders under the following circumstances.
[list:4bc55c908d][*:4bc55c908d]A spouse or dependent relative of the Medicaid applicant resides in the house.

[*:4bc55c908d]The applicant or his representative states on his/her behalf that he would return home after utilizing the Medicaid benefits.[/list:u:4bc55c908d]If the above conditions are satisfied, the home will remain exempt from Medicaid claims throughout the life of the applicant. Also, it will not be subjected to such claims after the death of the applicant in spite of a surviving spouse or heir or a dependent (who depends on the applicant) staying at home.

However, if there is no spouse or dependent or a heir, then the property can be used to satisfy the Medicaid claims.

Hope this is helpful

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous | Joined: June 8, 2004 01:06 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

BE CAREFUL doing either lady bird deed or quitclaim deed- although, they protect you under medicaid estate recovery - they do not protect for transfer penalties!! which could result in years of private pay at the nursing facility before medicaid ever kicks in

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous | Joined: June 8, 2004 01:06 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

My Parents live in Florida 65 and 71,and my sister is helping them prepare a ladybird deed. I find out now that my sister will be the only sibbling listed on this deed. Should'nt all 3 Sibblings be listed on this LadyBird Deed?

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adonis's picture
adonis | Joined: October 22, 2005 05:04 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Hi Lesia,

Refer this thread http://www.mortgagefit.com/know-how/addsiblings-ladybirddeed.html to get the discussion.

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jenkin7's picture
jenkin7 | Joined: June 4, 2007 11:02 pm | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Hello Lesia,

It actually depends on your parents. If they are willing to list all three siblings on the deed, then that should be done.

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous | Joined: June 8, 2004 01:06 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

What about the IRS treatment using the analogy of a revocable trust. For estate tax purposes, a revocable trust (I think) does not remove the asset from the giver's estate because the giver retained control over the asset. Is this a concern for a Lady Bird Deed?

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jenkin7's picture
jenkin7 | Joined: June 4, 2007 11:02 pm | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Hello Joe,

As far as I know, the property still remains in the owner's estate for the estate tax purposes even after it has been transferred with a ladybird deed.

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous | Joined: June 8, 2004 01:06 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

my husband was deeded acreage that includes realestate and his mother house, she found out that she would lose the homestead on her taxes if she left it in his name. The lawyer corrected the deed with a correction warranty laby bird deed, this does not specify house and 1 acre only. Does it include all 70 acres and other improvements.

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Jessica's picture
Jessica | Joined: June 8, 2004 01:06 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Hi Kimjw,

Welcome to our community forums.

As per the laws on homestead, when a property is transferred to someone, the current owner qualifying for homestead protection may lose it on account of change in the title.

Now if the lawyer has corrected the deed by excluding the house from it, then your husband won't get the house. Rather he will get other properties as stated on the deed. You need to check out the property description part of the deed.

Since there has been a change done on the deed, therefore the deed should be filed again to reflect the change.

[quote:3cebb9af41]Does it include all 70 acres and other improvements.[/quote:3cebb9af41]
I did not get this part of your query. What exactly are you trying to say here? What does this 70 acre include?

Regards,

Jessica.

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous | Joined: June 8, 2004 01:06 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

My mother is in long term care. She is under Medcaid. I have Lady Bird Deed on her house. I also have Durable POA. If necessy, Can I sell her house before her passing?

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous | Joined: June 8, 2004 01:06 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

My Dad is in the nursing home in TX. We have gotten a Ladybird deed for his (only possession) his home. When applying for Medicaid - his application will be denied UNLESS we sign the paperwork acknowledging that "the state of Texas has the right to ask for some money back from your estate after you die." It is my understanding that the state cannot file against the estate if there is ladybird deed. Is this true? Are the house and properties protected from Medicaid Recovery?

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larry2's picture
larry2 | Joined: June 27, 2007 02:50 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Hi Jacksonville,

Welcome to the forum.

I think you cannot sell the house as your mother has a Ladybird deed. But your mother can sell the house. She possesses all the rights of the house until her death.

After her death the grantor that means you will own the house. Ladybird deed is mainly used to avoid the costly and time consuming probate process.

Feel free to ask if you have any further questions.

Best of luck,
Larry

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larry2's picture
larry2 | Joined: June 27, 2007 02:50 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Hi Sandy,

Welcome to the forum.

As you have signed the agreement, the state can ask the money back in the form of Medicaid Recovery. You have the Ladybird deed. So you can avoid the probate but you are still entitled to pay off the money for Medicaid Recovery.

Best of luck,
Larry

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous | Joined: June 8, 2004 01:06 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

my sister is listed as co owner of a home in S Carolina. It is mortgage free, and her husband is dying of cancer. They have no health or life insurances to speak of. How can she avoid losing the home because of medicaid or hospital bills.

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous | Joined: June 8, 2004 01:06 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

You sister can use a Ladybird deed. Thus she will get the property after her husband's death and also her husband can get the Medicaid benifits. but as everyone suggests, attorney's advise should be taken before using the Ladybird deed.

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous | Joined: June 8, 2004 01:06 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

How Can I get A Lady Bird Deed ? Thank U

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adonis's picture
adonis | Joined: October 22, 2005 05:04 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Hi Jon,

I've already replied to your query at http://www.mortgagefit.com/propertytransfer/ladybird-deed.html#56986 .

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous | Joined: June 8, 2004 01:06 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Will I be able to maintain my homestead exemption in Texas.

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helping_user's picture
helping_user | Joined: March 31, 2006 03:39 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Welcome gbaby.

I think you will still be able to retain homestead exemption on your Texas property even though you have signed on enhanced life estate deed.

Check out for more on this topic from a related community discussion at http://www.mortgagefit.com/life-estate/homestead-exemption.html .

Thanks.

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous | Joined: June 8, 2004 01:06 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Ladybird deed - any asset protection in CA. for the grantors of the parents in possession? I purchased one on online today but it won't open up and I need ASAP. Can Anyone help? Fax 415-332-4600

P.S. Is the homestead exception still good? What happens if I file BK?

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smith.sussane's picture
smith.sussane | Joined: September 18, 2008 09:57 pm | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Hi Rich!

Welcome to the Forums!

Homestead exemption is done to protect the value of the homes of residents from property taxes, creditors as well as circumstances arising from the death of the homeowner spouse. The laws of bankruptcy differ from one country to another and thus the homestead exemption laws are also different. Certain exemptions are allowed as per the laws. You can consult an attorney to know about these exemptions.

Sussane

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous | Joined: June 8, 2004 01:06 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

My mom's house was put into a ladybird deed in FL in 1/07. My mom has had 2 strokes since then and has 24 hr in home care. She is running out of money so we are selling her house and moving her in with my sister in NY, this sister is the beneficiary of the ladybird deed. My sister wants to take some of the money from the sale of the home and use it to buy her own home. Can she do this without jeopardizing my mom's eligibility for medicaid if she ever needs it?

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smith.sussane's picture
smith.sussane | Joined: September 18, 2008 09:57 pm | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Hi Anne!

Welcome to Forums!

The home may be considered as an exempt asset for Medicaid eligibility as long as one's spouse or relative live in that house when the original owner is not present. Now your mother has all the right to sell the property and I don't think that your mom's medicaid eligibility will be affected if your sister takes some money from the sale of the house.

Feel free to ask if you have further queries.

Sussane

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous | Joined: June 8, 2004 01:06 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Does and ELED protect the grantor from money judgments as well as the beneficiaries' creditors?

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jerry's picture
jerry | Joined: October 17, 2005 03:24 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Hi aleksy!

Have you been through any judgment and do you need to pay the creditors? It will be easier for me to answer the query if you can clarify what you mean by ELED.

Thanks,

Jerry

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous | Joined: June 8, 2004 01:06 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

MOM SIGNED A LADY BIRD DEED WHILE IN A NURSING HOME TO AVOID ESTATE RECOVERY. THE LADY BIRD DEED NAMES FOUR ADULT CHILDREN AS BENEFICIARES, HOWEVER, ONE OF THE SIBLINGS PASSED AWAY. CAN THE HOUSE BE SOLD WITH THE THREE REMAINING SIBLINGS OR DO THE CHILDREN OF THE DECEASED SIBLING HAVE TO BE INVOLVED IN THE SALE OF THE HOME? CAN HIS CHILDREN LEGALLY GIVE UP THEIR PART OF THE SALE OF THE HOME? CAN THE REMAINING SIBLINGS SIGN ON THE SALE OF THE HOUSE AND THEN GIVE OVER THE SHARE OF THE SELL OF THE HOUSE TO THE CHILDREN OF THE DECEASED???

THANKS,

LINDA

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Niicss's picture
Niicss | Joined: October 3, 2005 11:54 pm | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Hi LINDA!

If your sibling has left any provision or has mentioned in his/her will that the heirs will be getting the property, then you will have to give them their share of property. However, if the deceased sibling has left nothing of that sort, then I don't think you will have to give the heirs anything.

Thanks.

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous | Joined: June 8, 2004 01:06 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

MY BROTHER HAD NO WILL. CAN THE REMAINING SIBLINGS SIGN OFF ON THE SALE OF THE HOUSE WITH A LADY BIRD DEED? WE ARE IN THE PROCESS OF SELLING THE HOUSE, BUT ONE OF THE CHILDREN OF THE DECEASED IS "dragging her feet" IN OBTAINING PAPERWORK WE NEED. THIS PROCRASTINATION COULD AFFECT THE TIMELY SALE OF THE HOUSE.

THANKS,

LINDA

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jameshogg's picture
jameshogg | Joined: December 20, 2005 02:58 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Hi LINDA!

If your brother has not left a will or anything in written, then I don't think his children will have any interest in the property. However, you may consult an attorney and check if there is anything you can do to resolve this quickly.

Thanks.

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous | Joined: June 8, 2004 01:06 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

do the decrease heir have any rights against a survive deed

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jameshogg's picture
jameshogg | Joined: December 20, 2005 02:58 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Hi black beauty,

I am unable to understand your question. Can you be more specific and give some more details?

Thanks

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous | Joined: June 8, 2004 01:06 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

If I do this, can creditors still take the property from me, the grantor.

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous | Joined: June 8, 2004 01:06 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

I did not give you enough info. If I use the above instrument to deed a homestead and surrounding property to my son, can bankruptcy still make claims on the above property? Our credit is fine but I am just thinking about the economy. Thank-you.

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adonis's picture
adonis | Joined: October 22, 2005 05:04 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Hi Bonnie Repp,

You can file bankruptcy after 1 year of recording a ladybird deed. If you file bankruptcy within a year of recording a enhanced life estate deed (ladybird deed), then it may be considered as a fraudulent transfer.

As far as [url=http://www.mortgagefit.com/bankruptcy/chapter13.html]Chapter 13 bankruptcy[/url] is concerned, you will be able to save the property however in Chapter 7, you may or may not be able to save the property from the creditors.

If your home equity is higher than the state exemption, then the bankruptcy trustee will sell off the property and give you the exempted amount and pay off the rest to your lender after deducting his fee. To know more about exemptions, check out the following link:
http://www.mortgagefit.com/bankruptcy.html#keep-home

You should remember that though you file a enhanced life estate deed, the property will remain yours till you are alive. It's after your death that the property will go to the beneficiary.

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous | Joined: June 8, 2004 01:06 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

You say a Ladybird deed entitles one to the "step up basis". Does a regular life estate have the same entitlement in California?
Thank you!

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Samantha's picture
Samantha | Joined: September 16, 2005 11:59 pm | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Hi Mary,

Just as a ladybird deed, a regular life estate entitles one to the "stepped up" basis of the property value.

may god bless you.

Samantha

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous | Joined: June 8, 2004 01:06 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

NEED QUICK ANSWER PLEASE! mom has a ladybird deed and her kids are on it. If mom passes away, and one of the kids has a judgment against them (creditors chasing them) can they put a lien on the house if none of the other kids have a judgment against them?

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jerry's picture
jerry | Joined: October 17, 2005 03:24 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Hi Julie,

Yes, the creditors may place lien on the property if one the kids has a judgment against him/her. This is because, like all other siblings, he/she will also be an owner of the property after their mom passes away.

Thanks,

Jerry

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