I have received several questions recently concerning Lady Bird Deeds. What’s a Lady Bird Deed, you ask? It’s also referred to as an “Enhanced Life Estate.” On it’s face, it purports to be a Life Estate, with a remainder interest, however the Life Tenant has the authority to do whatever he or she wants with the property, including sell it in fee, without the joinder of the Remainder interest holder. A Lady Bird Deed, therefore, is a special form of life estate that gives the owner continued control over the property until his or her death. Once the owner dies, the property is transferred automatically to the remainder interest holder without the need for probate. For more information about Lady Bird Deeds, check out THIS LINK.
A Lady Bird Deed is a powerful tool. It allows the life tenant to exhibit full control over the property without having to account for the remainder interest. It has a survivorship element to it, allowing the real estate to be ignored as part of the probate process. These Deeds are popularly used when planning for Medicaid liens. The problem is that they are only recognized by 15 States and North Carolina is not one of them. These are the states that currently recognize Enhanced Life Estates:
These Deeds essentially ignore everything we learned in law school about Life Estates, in particular, the fact that the future interest, vested in the remainder, can be ignored. Notwithstanding the fact that North Carolina does not recognize these Enhanced Life Estates, we will see them from time-to-time in the public records. From my perspective as a title insurer, we cannot ignore the Remainder interest. If the Life Tenant on a Lady Bird Deed seeks to transfer the property, we will require the Remainder interest holder to also sign the Deed of Conveyance.
Congratulations to Kristen and the Moorefield Family!
Diana Paige Moorefield
Born 4/11/2019 @ 4:03 a.m.
Weighing 8 lbs, 20.5 inches
Mom, dad and babe are healthy and happy !
Barristers Title Services will be in attendance at the North Carolina Bar Association’s Real Property Annual Section Meeting in Kiawah Island, SC this Friday & Saturday.
Stop by our booth to say hi and pick up some new BTS swag. We’ll also be giving away two Amazon gift cards! We’d love to see you there!
Click HERE for more details.
There is an intentional misspelling in the Lady Bird Deeds article above. Be the first to find the misspelled word in the article to win a prize! E-mail Summer with your guess!