Lady Bird Deed (LBD) forms are only used in five of the US states to transfer property rights to a new owner in case of the death of the previous one. Michigan is one of the five states using this printable lady bird deed.
Provided the form is completed per the local rules and requirements, the new owner will not have to go through probate procedures, which is a significant advantage. Below, we will tell you some more about how to complete the LBD form and where to submit it.
The original document’s name is the Enhanced Life Estate Deed, and though most states have accepted the Lady Bird Deed as the new norm, you can still meet the original name in the resources.
The document works according to the following principle: a person who completes and signs the form divides its interest into lifetime and future. It means that from the moment of signing, the property is transferred to the applicant for the rest of their life, which, in turn, creates the so-called life estate (interest). The person who holds the subject premises rights for a lifetime is known as the life tenant.
There should be two parties to the Lady Bird Deed deal; otherwise, it would not be a deed. The form helps identify the property beneficiary (also called remainderman). This exact person (or trust or organization) will inherit the property upon the life tenant’s death. The tenant can assign multiple beneficiaries.
Michigan Lady Bird Deed Benefits
The following are some apparent benefits of filing the Michigan LBD form:
Avoiding probate procedures. The opportunity to avoid probate is one of the primary reasons for and benefits of using the Michigan LBD form. Any real property included in the deed agreement will be passed onto the beneficiary (or beneficiaries) automatically once the deed comes into force.
Retaining the lifetime rights to control the premises. As we have briefly mentioned above, the life tenant retains the real estate interest until the moment of death. All traditional life deed forms provide such control and preserve the right to sell, gift, or even mortgage the subject property.
Receiving Medicaid protection under the deed form. Under the current legislation of the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (page 37 of Bridges Policy Glossary), the premises are not subject to any Medicaid penalty and recovery after the tenant’s death.
No need to pay property taxes upon the transfer. The Lady Bird Deed is not considered a transfer. Thus, the beneficiary is exempt from paying federal property taxes upon inheriting the subject’s real property. No property reassessment is required after the tenant’s death, and nothing can trigger additional taxation.
Getting the opportunity to save on paying legal fees. With a Lady Bird Deed form, you can accomplish the same objectives as with the living trust, such as retaining a lifetime ownership control and avoiding probate after the tenant’s death, but you do not need to pay the living trust’s filing fee.
Lady Bird Deed Laws and Requirements in Michigan
All property and deed matters in the state are regulated by the Michigan Legislature (Chapter 565). Please check with the county’s requirements before completing and filing the LBD template.
You can only sign the paper in the presence of a notary public. Otherwise, your deed form could be recognized by the court as invalid in the future.
Just like other legal documents, the lady bird deed form requires you to use specific legal language and terms. You can check out the official State Bar website to learn about the language peculiarities.
There is no filing fee implied to such forms, as they are not considered an official transfer of property rights. Check with the local county’s office to find out more about the refreshments (if any).
How to Fill out and File a Lady Bird Deed in Michigan
We encourage you to use our form-building software and online-editing tools to complete and download the necessary form template. Below is a detailed guide to filling out the form. You can use it to navigate through the process.
Indicate the calendar date of when the Lady Bird Deed form is created and signed.
Define the beneficiary by inserting their respective legal name (or business name if the beneficiary is an entity) and physical address. You can include several beneficiaries. Use the blank lines or adjust the form template to fill in their information.
Enter the subject property’s residential address, including its county, street, building, unit, and ZIP code.
Define the grantor by writing their full legal name, signature, state, and county of residence. Fill in the information in the corresponding blank lines.
Read the disclaimer and write your printed name in the blank line as the sign of your consent.
Sign the paper only in the presence of a notary public. The notary must append their printed name, signature, commission expenses details, and put the official state seal to authorize the document.