What is a life estate in real estate?
In common law and statutory law, a life estate (or life tenancy) is the ownership of land for the duration of a person’s life.
In legal terms, it is an estate in real property that ends at death when ownership of the property may revert to the original owner, or it may pass to another person.
What is a life deed?
A life estate deed is a transfer of the ownership of the real property that is the subject of the deed to one or more persons (the “remainderman”), while retaining ownership of a life estate in the property by the person(s) transferring the property (the “life tenant”).
Does a person with a life estate own the property?
A person owns property in a life estate only throughout their lifetime. Beneficiaries cannot sell property in a life estate before the beneficiary’s death. One benefit of a life estate is that property can pass when the life tenant dies without being part of the tenant’s estate.
What are the benefits of a life estate?
Benefits of a Life Estate
- The right to live in the home until death;
- Maintaining a $250,000 capital gains exclusion provided you resided in the home two (2) of the last five (5) years;
- The right to keep a portion of the sale proceeds of the house if it is later sold;
- The right to rental income;