Estate planning can be complicated, especially for those with complex family structures. For example, blended families have unique legal needs, especially when it comes to the ownership of valuable assets and the creation of estate planning paperwork. Frequently, there can be conflict between the rights and desires of a new spouse with the rights and desires of the children in the family.
One of the tools that someone remarrying might use as part of their estate plan is a lady bird deed. What function could a lady bird deed serve in a Texas estate plan when someone is part of blended family?
It reduces friction related to real estate
One of the estate matters that results in the most conflict in a blended family is often what happens with someone’s home. Their spouse may expect to continue living in the marital home. However, for the children, it may be the primary source of their inheritance.
Just because someone remarries does not necessarily mean they want to deprive their children of an inheritance. A lady bird deed helps reduce the tension between the children and the stepparent by protecting the interests of everybody involved. Texas is one of the only states that recognizes lady bird deeds.
The owner of the home who intends to or has already remarried will execute a life estate deed granting their new spouse a life tenancy in the marital home. They will have the right to live in and use the property as they see fit. The ownership interest will pass to selected beneficiaries after the individual with a life tenancy dies. In other words, a lady bird deed allows one spouse to grant their partner the right to stay at the home for the rest of their life while still protecting their children’s financial interest in the property.
Unique situations call for clever solutions
The more unusual and complicated someone’s family situation is, the more important it will be to put together an estate plan that properly addresses their needs. Integrating a lady bird deed into an estate plan is one of many ways for those with complicated family circumstances to establish a meaningful legacy while also protecting the people that depend on them in Texas.