A Florida transfer on death deed, also known as a lady bird deed, is a legal document allowing Florida property owners to pass their real estate to a beneficiary upon their death without the property having to go through probate.

This type of deed has become increasingly popular as it provides a straightforward way to transfer property, helping to avoid the often lengthy and costly probate process.

What Is a Transfer on Death Deed?

A transfer on death deed allows a property owner (the grantor) to designate one or more beneficiaries who will automatically inherit the property upon the grantor’s death. This type of deed is only effective upon death and does not affect the property owner’s rights during their lifetime.

One of the primary advantages of a transfer on death deed is that it allows the property to bypass the probate process, which can be time-consuming and expensive. The transfer of ownership happens automatically upon the property owner’s death, without court involvement.

The grantor retains full control over the property until their death. This means they can sell, lease, mortgage, or otherwise use or encumber the property without the beneficiary’s consent. The grantor can also revoke or change the transfer on death deed at any time before their death.

The grantor can change the beneficiary or revoke the deed entirely at any time before their death. This flexibility allows for changes in circumstances or intentions without significant legal hurdles.

What Makes a Transfer on Death Deed Valid?

To be valid, a transfer on death deed must be properly executed according to Florida law, which includes requirements such as having the deed signed, witnessed, and notarized. The deed must then be recorded in the county’s public records where the property is located.

While a transfer on death deed can transfer property efficiently, it does not protect the beneficiary from any liens or debts attached to the property. The inherited property may still be subject to claims from creditors.

Using a transfer on death deed can have legal and tax implications, both for the grantor during their lifetime and for the beneficiary after the grantor’s death.

Finally, a transfer on death deed is a tool for estate planning, but it is not a comprehensive solution. It only covers the property described in the deed and does not address other assets or issues that might be covered in a will or broader estate plan.

We prepare deeds for clients throughout Florida.

We charge a flat fee for a consultation and preparation of your lady bird deed. Our attorneys can do everything remotely by phone or Zoom.

Alper Law attorneys

How to Set Up a Transfer on Death Deed in Florida

Here are the steps to creating a transfer on death deed in Florida:

  1. Draft the deed.
  2. Include necessary information, such as the property description and beneficiary names.
  3. Ensure the deed complies with Florida law for real estate deeds.
  4. Sign the deed before a notary public and two witnesses.
  5. File the deed with the county recorder’s office where the property is located.