A Michigan Lady Bird Deed is a form of enhanced life estate. It is similar to a transfer on death account that can be set up at a financial institution. Allegedly, the name Lady Bird Deed is used because President Johnson used this type of deed to convey property to his wife, obviously named Lady Bird.
The main use of the Michigan Lady Bird Deed is that the person creating the deed, Grantor, controls the property during his or her lifetime. The Grantor can even sell the property. However, upon passing of the Grantor, the property will be transferred to whoever the name beneficiary or beneficiaries are.
So, why use the Michigan Lady Bird Deed? Well first, the Michigan Lady Bird deed can be used in a Medicaid Planning or Life Care Planning strategy. This is because the Michigan Lady Bird Deed can avoid probate (and the estate recovery that could be coming down the line in Michigan), while also being outside of any revocable living trust, thereby maintaining it’s exempt status for Medicaid and DHS.
It is important that you have a knowledgeable Michigan elder law attorney draft your Michigan Lady Bird Deed because it is a tricky instrument and the language used must be precise.