Lady Bird Deeds Texas

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What is a Lady Bird Deed

A Lady Bird Deed is a commonly used name for an Enhanced Life Estate Deed. This deed is one of the deeds which may be used for estate planning. It is often used in connection with qualifying for Medicaid benefits. Contact your Medicaid advisor to see if the Lady Bird Deed is a good option.

A Ladybird Deed or Enhanced Life Estate Deed may help to avoid the expenses of Probate. Other deeds used for estate planning purposes are:

Good to know: You do not need to have a Will in order to transfer real estate upon your death if you have a Lady Bird Deed or one of the other estate planning deeds on file in the county records before your death.

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Enhanced Life Estate Deed Texas

A traditional Texas Life Estate Deed is a Warranty Deed, either a General or Special Warranty Deed, that transfers future ownership of the property to a Grantee but the Grantor reserves or keeps the right present ownership of the property for the rest of the life of the Grantor.

The Grantor keeps an interest in the property known as a Life Estate. The Grantor receives what is known as the Remainder Interest.

The Grantor in a Life Estate Deed is known as a Life Tenant or Tenant for Life. The Grantee is known as the Remainderperson or Remainderman,  a word from the old common law.

With a traditional Life Estate Deed, the Grantor/Life Tenant does not have the right to sell or mortgage property without the consent, referred to as joinder, of the Remainderman. Both parties need to act together. They must be joined in the decisions.

However, with a Lady Bird Deed or Enhanced Life Estate Deed, the Grantor not only retains a Life Estate, the Grantor also retains more rights, including the right to sell or financing the property without the consent or joinder of the Remainderman. [Be aware that, nevertheless, a title company, lender or buyer, may still require the joinder of the Remainderman.]

Essentially, the owner who creates a Ladybird Deed or Enhanced Life Estate Deed transfers their own real property to themselves for their lifetime and becomes known as a ‘Life Tenant’.

  • The Grantor is known as the Life Tenant.
  • This deed transfer creates a Life Estate.
  • The Grantor names a beneficiary who becomes the Remainderman.
  • The Remainderman is the Grantee.
  • Grantor can name one or more people, organizations or Trusts as Grantee/Remainderman.

Upon the Life Tenant’s death, the Life Estate ends and the Remainderman owns the property without the need for Probate.

Good to know: The Remainderman will need proof of death of the Life Tenant before the property can be sold or financed. An Affidavit of Death is sometimes filed in the property records to verify the death of the Life Tenant.

Note: The information provided on this website is not intended as tax advice. Please consult a CPA or other tax advisor for tax questions.

Points to Consider about Lady Bird Deeds:

  • A Lady Bird Deed gives the Life Tenant complete control of the property. Life Tenant maintains the right to use the property in any legal way they chose during their lifetime.
  • The Life Tenant may change the Remainderman at any time without consent from the original Remainderman.
  • Life Tenant may mortgage or sell the property without consent of the Remainderman.
  • As control is retained by the Life Tenant, this transfer may be considered an incomplete gift for tax purposes. Ask your tax advisor for more tax information.
  • As the property transfers by deed to the Remainderman upon Life Tenants’ death, it does not require Probate.
  • This deed allows the Grantor to keep the homestead tax exemption status of the property.
  • This deed may not have an effect on the Life Tenant’s ability to qualify for Medicaid. Contact your Medicaid advisor to see if the Lady Bird Deed is a good option.

Good to know: It is recommended, if you anticipate that you would like to create a Lady Bird Deed, to do so sooner rather than later.

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Residential Real Estate Lawyer

At Texas Property Deeds, your Enhanced Life Estate Deed, Lady Bird Deed, or traditional Life Estate Deed will be prepared by a Texas licensed residential real estate lawyer. With over 30 years experience in Real Estate Law, your documents will be prepared professionally and correctly.

If you have questions about the advantages or disadvantages of a Lady Bird Deed in Texas, email your questions directly to attorney Scott Steinbach at Or speak with him at 972-960-1850.

Note: It is beneficial to enlist the assistance of a Residential Real Estate Attorney when preparing an estate planning deed such as a Lady Bird Deed.

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Lady Bird Deed prepared for $195

Do you have questions about a Lady Bird Deed? Call and speak directly with attorney Scott Steinbach at 972-960-1850.  Or email him at

R. Scott Steinbach is licensed in the state of Texas.  Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Residential Real Estate Law. AV Preeminent rated by Martindale-Hubble. Peer rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence.

Texas Property Deeds is a service of The Steinbach Law Firm.  

The Steinbach Law Firm is a Texas Real Estate Law Firm. We prepare all documents for any real estate transaction in Texas.

Board Certified in Residential Real Estate Law in Texas. For Texas Property Deeds
The Steinbach Law Firm for Texas Property Deeds