Tom and Cathy (an imaginary couple) are married and have no children together. Tom has two adult children from a prior marriage; Cathy has no children. The couple reside in a Florida home which Tom owned before they got married. As a result, title to the home is only in Tom's name. Sadly, Tom dies unexpectedly of a heart-attack. At the time of his death, Tom had no Last Will and Testament. Cathy goes to see an estate attorney to find out about her rights regarding the home she and Tom had lived in for over ten years--she leaves in shock!
The laws in Florida governing homestead real property can be complex and confusing. This is particularly true when the homestead is titled in the name of only one spouse who dies and does not leave a Will or Trust devising the homestead to the surviving spouse. This is not a scenario which most spouses would want.
As discussed in a prior blog entry, an Enhanced Life Estate Deed is a type of deed which provides the grantor with certain rights during life, with the remaining interest to go to a named person at the grantor's death. This can be a helpful estate planning tool. However, there are some down-sides to the Enhanced Life Estate Deed. Perhaps some of the biggest negatives arise when trying to get title insurance.
An Enhanced Life-Estate Deed is a type of deed used in estate planning which provides the grantor with certain rights during life, with the remaining interest to go to a named person at the grantor's death. In some states other than Florida, this type of deed is sometimes known as a "Lady Bird Deed."