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The Ladybird Deed: An Often Overlooked But Viable Florida Estate Planning Tool

A ladybird deed (also known as an enhanced life estate deed) is an estate planning tool that provides many benefits. Pensacola attorney Christine S. Cook handles these deeds for clients throughout the area. A big reason you may want to consider a ladybird deed is to protect your home and be able to pass it on to your children or heirs.

Who Benefits From A Ladybird Deed?

The main group of people who benefit from a ladybird deed or ladybird trust are typically retired individuals over 70. Ladybird deeds are not authorized in every state, but they are available in Florida. Michigan, Texas, Vermont and West Virginia also allow them.

The Four Top Benefits Of A Ladybird Deed

A ladybird deed, sometimes called a ladybird trust, is similar to a traditional trust because it can protect your home from claims. There are additional benefits as well, such as:

  1. Allowing you to remain in your home instead of having to sell your home to pay for care or to remain eligible for Medicaid

  2. Avoiding the federal gift tax

  3. Protecting your home as an inheritance instead of making it vulnerable to the Medicaid Estate Recovery Program

  4. Allowing you to maintain control of your property and transfer it to your heirs

A ladybird deed differs from a traditional life estate deed in that you, as the owner, retain full control of the property. You can sell it, refinance it or take out an additional mortgage. A home that you have lived in for decades may have appreciated significantly in value.

There may be tax implications to consider when transferring this asset. A qualified estate planning attorney who works with ladybird deeds can help you understand whether or not you can benefit from this planning mechanism. In some instances, if you have more than one property, for example, a revocable trust may better align with your circumstances and goals. Your will should also align with the deed and may need to be updated should you enact this tool.

Find Out If A Ladybird Deed Is Right For You

Christine S. Cook handles estate planning and ladybird deeds for Florida residents. Attorney Christine S. Cook offers a free initial consultation for new clients interested in ladybird deeds. Call 850-572-3443 or send an inquiry email to the firm.

Located in Pensacola, Christine S. Cook serves clients throughout the city, Escambia County and the surrounding areas of Florida.


Christine S. Cook has earned a reputation in the legal community for her professionalism and among her clients for the care and personal attention she gives to every case.

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