While Florida legalization is expensive and time-consuming. It is easy to sign for Lady Bird Deed and avoid probate in most cases. However, many people must take steps to prevent the legalization of Lady Bird Deed in Florida. In addition, Florida probate records are public court records that anyone can read. So anyone can go to the local county courthouse and see a probate file.
Below is a list of four easy ways to avoid legalization in Florida with Lady Bird Deed. What will work best in your situation will depend on many factors, including how your assets are titled. Who do you want to inherit your estate to, how much of your lifetime gift tax exemption? You have used, and how concerned you are about creditor and creditor protection of assets.
Get rid of all your Florida property.
Suppose you are not a Florida resident but own real estate there. In that case, one way to avoid ancillary probate in Florida with Lady Bird Deed is to eliminate all your Florida real estate. Without owning any property, you will not have an estate that must be probated in Florida. Of course, this may not be practical or desirable. But it may make sense to gift your real estate to your children or other beneficiaries so that both of you.
Reduce the value of your estate.
Use joint property with rights of survivorship or tenure by the whole. Adding a joint owner to your personal account, investment account, or real estate title will prevent probate with Lady Bird Deed Florida. As long as it is clear that the account or property is owned by joint owners with rights in common. If you’re married in Florida, you and your spouse can own bank accounts, investment accounts, tangible personal property, and real property with rights of survivorship in a particular form called tenancy by the whole.
But be careful about relying on joint ownership with survivorship or tenure rights entirely to avoid probate, as there are several disadvantages to doing so:
- If a joint owner is sued or divorced. A judgment creditor or divorcing spouse can take the assets in the joint account or jointly owned real property.
- If a joint owner dies before you, 50 percent or even 100 percent of the joint account will be used for tax purposes.
- If you are in a second or subsequent marriage, leaving your property to your spouse by right of survivorship or tenure. On the whole, this will mean that your spouse will be free to do. What they want with your property after your spouse later dies. This may not be what you wish. In other words, you may want your spouse to use your property after his death. But after your spouse later passes away, you may want your property to go to your children. In this situation, joint ownership with the right of survivorship or tenancy will not fully meet your final wishes as your spouse can freely choose to pass your property on to their children or even a new spouse in place of your children.
Using Beneficiary Designations or Life Estate Deeds
Suppose you own life insurance or assets in a retirement account or annuity. In that case, you are already taking advantage of probate avoidance using beneficiary designations. You may need to know that in Florida. You are allowed to designate beneficiaries for your bank accounts and non-retirement investment accounts. Additionally, you can use Lady Bird Deed Florida to retain Florida real estate ownership during your lifetime. Then pass the property to the beneficiaries of your choice. After your death without the need to probate real estate in Florida.
Use a revocable living trust.
It is a written agreement that covers three phases of your life:
- As long as you’re alive and well;
- If you become mentally disabled; and
- After you die
But signing the Lady Bird Deed agreement alone is insufficient to prevent probate of your Florida property after your death. Instead, once the trust agreement is signed. You will need to take your assets and title them in the name of your trust.