A “life estate” occurs when a person has a legal right to use property during life, but does not own the property outright.
That person is called the “life tenant.” After the death of the life tenant, the property passes to the named beneficiaries, called “remaindermen.”
Can you inherit a life estate?
In the United States, a life estate is typically used as a tool of an estate planning. A life estate can avoid probate and ensure that an intended heir will receive title to real property. For example, Al owns a home and desires that Bill inherit it after Al’s death.
Who owns the property in a life estate?
A life estate deed is a legal document that changes the ownership of a piece of real property. The person who owns the real property (in this example, Mom) signs a deed that will pass the ownership of the property automatically upon her death to someone else, known as the “remainderman” (in this example, Son).
Can Remainderman sell life estate?
Yes, the remainderman was legally able to sell/transfer his interest in the real estate without your consent. Of course, the buyer/grantee takes title subject to your life estate, meaning your life estate still exists.