Woman with hands over a house representing that she is protecting it with an enhanced life estate deed

A good way to avoid probate in Wichita Falls without using a revocable living trust is by utilizing an Enhanced Life Estate Deed. Enhanced Life Estate Deeds are also often referred to as Lady Bird Deeds, and they are a great tool to use to avoid the headache of the probate process. Some probates are more complicated than others, and good estate planning typically aims to avoid probate altogether.

How to Avoid a Probate in Wichita Falls with Real Property

There are several methods available to avoid probate in Wichita Falls for real property. One of the more popular methods is to create a revocable living trust and to then place your property in the name of that trust. When you do this, you are able to maintain control of the property while you are alive and still avoid probate when you pass aware. Another method people use is to add a joint owner onto your property. However, this isn’t necessarily a method we would advise. One of the best methods to avoid probate in Wichita Falls with real property is by creating an Enhanced Life Estate Deed.

Enhanced Life Estate Deeds in Wichita Falls

An Enhanced Life Estate Deed in Wichita Falls is a type of deed that allows you to retain complete control of the property during your life, but to automatically transfer the ownership of the property to whoever you choose upon your death. This deed allows for flexibility because you can do anything you want with the property during your life, including revoking the Enhanced Life Estate Deed and selling the property. The person you choose to give the property to (the grantee) does not have any rights in the property while you are still alive and it is only upon your death that the title transfers to that person.  

Drawbacks to Creating Enhanced Life Estate Deeds in Wichita Falls

While Enhanced Life Estate Deeds in Wichita Falls do provide some flexibility, there are a couple drawbacks. First, some title and mortgage companies are not as familiar with these documents so some issues could arise with them. Second, if there are multiple grantees on the deed, the deed doesn’t account for what happens if one of them passes away or becomes incapacitated. So, if a grantee dies before the grantor, the grantee’s interest would be subject to probate. A living trust, on the other hand, can account and plan for this type of scenario. Therefore, living trusts are typically recommended for more complex estates. Still, an Enhanced Life Estate Deed is a great and simple way to avoid probate!

Contact a Wichita Falls Estate Planning Attorney Today

Our Wichita Falls Estate Planning attorney helps individuals and families every day plan effective estate plans that include Enhanced Life Estate Deeds and that will avoid probate. If you are interested in getting started with your estate plan or want to learn more, contact us today at 940-569-4000 or fill out our contact form to set up a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation.

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