Mary Cummins, Real Estate Appraiser, Animal Advocates, Los Angeles, California

Mary Cummins, Real Estate Appraiser, Animal Advocates, Los Angeles, California
Mary Cummins, Real Estate Appraiser, Animal Advocates, Los Angeles, California

Saturday, January 1, 2022

How to File Your Own Lady Bird Deed Real Estate by Mary Cummins Real Estate Appraiser Legal Expert

Lady Bird Deed, ladybird deed, enhanced life estate, revocable, real estate, trust, estate, deed, form, free, texas, vermont, west virginia, mary cummins, real estate appraiser
Lady Bird Deed, ladybird deed, enhanced life estate, revocable, real estate, trust, estate, deed, form, free, texas, vermont, west virginia, mary cummins, real estate appraiser


A "Lady Bird Deed" is also known as an "Enhanced Life Estate Deed." The deed allows the person owning the property, the life estate, to have full control over their property for life. They can terminate or change the deed at any time because it's revocable. The owner of the property has full continued power and authority over their assets without the involvement of the beneficiary. Without such a deed the owner would not be able to mortgage, sell the property or give it to someone else. 

In my experience the main purpose of such a deed is when a parent wants to leave their home to their child/children to avoid probate and eliminate transfer taxes. Prior to the Lady Bird Deed the transfer was irrevocable. That means you could never retract the deed if say your child mistreated you or became involved with elements such as drugs, gambling, debt, prison or a person, marriage you didn't feel was in their best interest. With the Lady Bird Deed you have full control of the property and can change your mind and take it back any time you like. 

The main estate and tax reasons to use a Lady Bird Deed are of course to avoid probate and taxes. The deed automatically transfers the property to the designated beneficiary upon death of the original owner avoiding probate. Because of the way assets are classified through the usage of a lady bird deed, anything left to a family member is termed an “incomplete gift” for tax purposes. This classification comes with two important benefits. "First, because of their incomplete status, these assets do not have any gift tax associated with them – there’s no need for the beneficiary to file a gift tax return. Second, the assets are included in the deceased family member’s estate when they pass. Because of this, the property qualifies as adjusted – essentially removing any appreciation that may have occurred while the original owner still retained the asset, which means the new owners will not have to pay as much in income taxes if they decide to sell the property." There are also benefits it you apply for Medicaid. A Lady Bird Deed does not have to be disclosed as a transfer. 

If you ever change your mind about the deed, you can file a revocation document or a new deed giving, selling the property to someone else.

Legal Terms Used in a Lady Bird Deed

ESTATE IN REMAINDER - The estate which is owned after the owner of the life estate dies. If you own the home and Lady Bird deed it to your son, your son owns the estate in remainder after you die.

GRANTOR - The Grantor is the owner of the property who is giving the estate in remainder.

GRANTEE - The Grantee is the owner receiving the property or estate in remainder. The Beneficiary.

LEGAL DESCRIPTION - The legal description is generally what is included in the deed that legally describes the property which is the land. It is generally tract # x lot # x. "Tract # 5745 lot 300." If there is more than one portion of a lot, if could be longer such as "MONTROSE TRACT AS PER BK 5 PG 170 OF MAPS SE 40 FT OF LOT 14 AND ALL OF LOT 13." Farm land is even longer and more complex. 

LIFE ESTATE - The estate which is owned during the life of the owner of the estate. If you own the property and lady bird deed it to your daughter, you own the life estate. 

PROPERTY ADDRESS - The United States Postal Service address of the property. Example, 123 Main St, Los Angeles, CA 90012. 

How to File a Lady Bird Deed

Go to this link and download the pdf. You can also just use the text below and make your own form.

Fill out the form. 

Get it notarized by a licensed notary. Be sure to bring your identification. They may charge you $5 or $10 to notarize it but your bank may do it for free.

File the form with the County recorder where the property is located. 

Text from the form.


Lady Bird Deed 

This Deed is made on this day of _______________, 20__, between the 

Grantor ______________________________ 

of address __________________________________________________ and the  

Grantee Beneficiary ______________________________ 

of address _________________________________________________. 

For good and valuable consideration paid by the Grantee Beneficiary, the receipt of which is hereby 

acknowledged, the Grantor does transfer and convey the following described property to the Grantee 

Beneficiary effective on the Grantor's death: 

Property Address: ______________________________________________________________ 

Legal Description: ______________________________________________________________ 



The Grantor reserves a life estate for himself/herself during the Grantor's lifetime coupled with an 

unrestricted power to convey during the Grantor's lifetime, which includes the power to sell, gift, 

mortgage, lease and otherwise dispose of the property, and to retain the proceeds from the 


EXECUTED this day of _______________, 20__. 

Grantor Name: _________________________ 

Grantor Signature: ______________________

STATE OF _________________________ 

COUNTY OF _________________________ 

On this day, personally appeared before me, _________________________, to me known to be the 

person(s) described in and who executed the within instrument, and acknowledged that he/she signed 

the same as his/her voluntary act and deed, for the uses and purposes therein mentioned.

Witness my hand and official seal hereto affixed on this day of _______________, 20__. 

Notary's Public Signature: ______________________ 


More information about the Lady Bird Deed here.

Disclaimer: I am not an attorney. I am a licensed real estate broker, appraiser, expert with over 35 years of experience. I help people fill out basic real estate forms. If you need legal, estate or tax advice, please, contact a licensed attorney in your state. I'm in California. Lady Bird Deeds are recognized in Texas, Florida, Michigan, Vermont, and West Virginia.

Mary Cummins of Cummins Real Estate is a certified residential licensed appraiser in Los Angeles, California. Mary Cummins is licensed by the California Bureau of Real Estate appraisers and has over 35 years of experience.

Mary Cummins, Mary K. Cummins, Mary Katherine Cummins, Mary, Cummins, #marycummins #animaladvocates #losangeles #california #wildlife #wildliferehabilitation #wildliferehabilitator #realestate #realestateappraiser #realestateappraisal #lawsuit real estate, appraiser, appraisal, instructor, teacher, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Pasadena, Brentwood, Bel Air, California, licensed, permitted, certified, single family, condo, condominium, pud, hud, fannie mae, freddie mac, fha, uspap, certified, residential, certified resident, apartment building, multi-family, commercial, industrial, expert witness, civil, criminal, orea, dre, brea insurance, bonded, experienced, bilingual, spanish, english, form, 1004, 2055, 1073, land, raw, acreage, vacant, insurance, cost, income approach, market analysis, comparative, theory, appraisal theory, cost approach, sales, matched pairs, plot, plat, map, diagram, photo, photographs, photography, rear, front, street, subject, comparable, sold, listed, active, pending, expired, cancelled, listing, mls, multiple listing service, claw, themls, historical appraisal, facebook, linkedin

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