A Michigan Lady Bird deed is a legal way for a homeowner to put the names of heirs on the deed while retaining lifetime rights to complete control of the property. Upon the life tenant's death, the property legally belongs to the heirs, allowing them to avoid lengthy probate procedures.
The Michigan Lady Bird deed allows the life tenant to keep the house as an exempt asset if he needs to apply for Medicaid. Some benefits to the heirs include avoiding gift taxes and taxes on the sale of the property. Additionally, the transfer of the property does not result in property tax reassessment. The nickname for the deed came from Lady Bird Johnson when President Johnson used the method to transfer property to her.