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Estate Planning - Ladybird Deeds

Texas Ladybird Deeds Lawyer

A Ladybird Deed (or “enhanced life estate deed”) is a special deed that is filed which allows the owner to have control over the property until his or her death.

Once the owner dies, the property is automatically transferred over to the new owners without any need for probate.

This is the right choice for someone looking to avoid probate of the property, keep the right to use and profit from property for your lifetime, keep right to sell the property at any time, avoid making a gift that could be subject to federal gift tax as well as, avoid jeopardizing your eligibility for Medicaid.

This document needs to be written in a very specific way to avoid any objections from title companies and be inclusive in your overall estate planning directive.

Feel free to use the form to request a free consultation or call our office during regular business hours.

Contact McCarty-Larson, PLLC

Midlothian Office (972) 775-2100

Protect Their Financial Future


It’s a real blessing, in a time of crisis and grief, to know that there is a Will or a Trust in place. It makes the process of probating or administering an estate so much easier. Your family does not have to guess at what you would want, and there is less chance of family conflicts. 

Our Midlothian estate planning attorneys will ask about your goals and then explain the benefits and options of using a Will or a Trust to distribute your estate. We can help you on choose the right tools for an estate the size of yours and the goals you would like to achieve. 

Last Will and Testament: A Will is a simple and cost-effective document to distribute things you own.  If you don’t have a Will, state law will determine how your estate is distributed. With a Will, you can exclude people who otherwise would have inherited, and decide in advance how best to divide your estate. 

If you transfer your estate through a Will, your estate will go through the probate process. That can be a relatively easy process in Texas, depending on the size of your estate and the relationships within your family. If you choose to put your estate into a Trust instead, it will not go through the probate process.  

Trusts: What all Trusts have in common is this: they transfer the assets of an estate to the selected heirs at the time that you, the Trust funder, designate. Trusts also avoid the probate process. 

Depending upon the type of Trust you choose, this estate planning tool can help you protect assets from tax liability during your lifetime and meet a variety of goals after you are gone. With a Trust you can:

  • Provide money over time for an underage child, disabled relative, or an elder. The money is managed by the Trust, which disperses it as directed. 
  • Money held in a “special needs” Trust does not count against the heir if he or she requires Medicare or Medicaid to help pay for assisted living or nursing home care. 
  • Money can be set aside in a Trust for a pet or a horse, providing for their long-term care. 
  • Money can be held in the Trust and then transferred when the beneficiary completes a certain requirement, such as reaching the age of 21 or 30, completing college, or getting married.
  • A charitable Trust can be used to provide ongoing financial support to a favorite charity. 
  • Land can be set aside in a Trust, to conserve and protect it. 

A Trust can achieve a lot more goals, but it is also more expensive to establish and to manage. In a Living or Revocable Trust, a person retains some control over the use of the money and assets in the Trust while they are alive. With an Irrevocable Trust, the funder does not control the Trust in the Trust; the Trustees do. 

When you visit our office, we can talk about the most cost-effective way to do what you would like to do with your estate plan. 

Don’t Forget To Update Your Will or Trust!

At McCarty-Larson, we work with a lot of clients who are going through a divorce. Don’t forget to revise your estate plan at this time. You probably don’t want your ex-spouse to make life or death decisions for you, or to manage your estate. As a good rule of thumb, one should update your will or trust every three years to make sure they take into account changes in your life.

Caring for Children and Elders

If your family knows in advance that there will come a time when help is needed, because a family member has been diagnosed in the early stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s or some other disabling disease, that family member may want to grant someone the Power of Attorney. This is a simple process that ensures someone can make financial and/or medical decisions when needed. 

The ill or disabled person must be of sound mind to make such a decision. If they are not, then legal guardianship is the only tool available to give someone authority to make critical decisions.

Legal guardianship can be controversial if all family members don’t agree on what’s best for the incompetent family member. But it’s also a great gift to know that someone will be there to handle personal and financial affairs so your loved one won’t be unprotected. 

The guardianship lawyers at McCarty-Larson have extensive courtroom experience. We will make the case for the best interest of the vulnerable adult or child. 

Small Firm, Careful Attention

Every family and every estate is unique. We provide customized estate plans to meet your particular needs and goals Contact our Ellis County Wills and Trusts lawyers to schedule a personal visit. Or call our Ellis County law office at (972) 775-2100.


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