How much does a lady bird deed cost in Florida?

The cost of preparing a lady bird deed is free with a consultation from QuickDeeds.com. There are multiple factors that determine the total cost of executing and recording a lady bird deed in Florida.

At QuickDeeds.com, we will draft the deed for free when you book a consultation with us. What we can't control is the amount you must pay to the government for the transfer. These costs depends on two important factors: the length of the deed in pages and the amount of consideration (the value attributed to the transfer).

Fees on Pages: Most lady bird deeds are two pages long, but can exceed that when there are more parties involved, longer legal descriptions, and multiple signature blocks. Florida counties charge recording fees by the page for recording and most charge less than $20 for two pages and $10 or less for each additional page thereafter.

Tax on Consideration: Consideration is the legal term for the amount of money actually or metaphorically paid for the transfer.

  • Standard Lady Bird Deed: A lady bird deed that merely conveys a future interest (and no present interest), such as a lady bird deed that conveys the enhanced life estate back to the sole grantor with a remainder interest to the grantor's son will typically have a reported consideration of $10.

  • Hybrid Lady Bird Deed: a lady bird deed that conveys a future interest, but also conveys a present interest may be subject to a higher tax rate if an exemption does not apply. For example: Geoff owns his own home in Orlando, Florida. It is worth $300,000 and he has a mortgage with a balance of $200,000 outstanding on it. Nadia agrees to marry Geoff and they become engaged. Before they marry, Geoff wants to give Nadia half of his interest in the house, but also wants to put his son Josh as the remainder interest holder on the deed in the event they both pass. In this situation, Geoff will be giving Nadia 50% of his enhanced life estate interest.

    Unlike a standard lady bird deed, this deed represents a present transfer of a present interest and thus is subject to taxes. The tax this deed is subject to is called Documentary Stamp Taxes, or Doc Stamps for short. Doc Stamps are calculated on the basis of the consideration paid for the transfer. Since Nadia gave Geoff nothing for the 50% interest except her love and affection, there is no consideration, right? Wrong. In Florida, when there is no actual consideration paid for a real property interest conveyed the tax collector will try and find consideration through the value of the debt on the property. In this case, Geoff owes $200,000 in debt on his mortgage and this will become the basis of the consideration for the transfer. The good news is, he is actually keeping 50% so only half of his debt will be used to calculate the consideration, leaving him with $100,000 as his consideration.

    Once you determine the consideration, you must use that to determine the number of doc stamps that are owed. As of 2022, doc stamps cost $0.70 and cover $100 worth of consideration each. There are no partial stamps. One formula to calculate the doc stamps is:

    ⌈ (Amount of Consideration / 100) ⌉ * $0.70

    (For those of us without math degrees, the symbols on the outside of the first expression ( ⌈ ⌉ ) mean you should round up the number you get to the next whole number)

    For Geoff, the amount he would pay the government for doc stamps on this deed would be $700.00. This fee is required to be paid when recording the deed.

    Many of the county clerks' websites now offer a handy calculating tool to help you determine about how much recording will cost.

    Note that there are some transfers that are exempt from Doc Stamps, such as certain transfers between married or divorcing spouses.

However, if this all seems too much to figure out, just let your QuickDeeds.com attorney in your consultation do the calculations for you!

Published: Nov 8, 2022

Updated: Nov 24, 2022

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