life estate


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Life Estate

Real estate owned only for the duration of one's life, at which time it reverts to the original owner. The owner of a life estate, called a life tenant, has all rights associated with ownership of property except the right to sell the property. Upon the death of the life tenant, the life estate reverts back to the owner, or to a third party designated by the owner. For example, in a will, a farmer may grant ownership of his farm to his children, subject to the life estate of their mother. In this situation, the mother holds the life estate and has the right to live in the farm house for the rest of her life. A life estate may be included in one's gross estate.

life estate

The right to use and enjoy real estate for a limited time measured by someone's life— either the owner of the life estate or someone else. Often used as an estate planning tool so that elderly people can sell their property or give it to relatives,but still retain the right to continue living in it.

Example: Mary Smith, who is 85 years old, has a life estate in Blackacre, but it's for the life of 10-year-old Ashley Brown. As a result, Mary and her heirs will be able to use the property until Ashley dies, hopefully some time in the distant future.

References in periodicals archive ?
67) The dissent asserted that without the admission of additional evidence, it was uncertain whether James intended to devise his property in fee simple to Sandra or if James intended to devise a life estate with his daughters as remaindermen.
These real property tax exemptions will not, however, be lost if the home is transferred subject to a retained life estate of the transferor who resides in the house and meets all the relevant requirements.
Gerrish's life estate severely limited the ability of the estate to make a return on its asset.
27) Similarly, money used to purchase life estates was not considered a countable asset because the purchase of life estates was not mentioned in Title XIX prior to the DRA.
In the event I cannot continue to occupy my personal residence for good reason and decide to sell my life estate interest, the charitable organization must also sell its remainder interest.
Because the parents had reserved to themselves a life estate, remainder to the son, the effect of frustration would be to reconvey the remainder interest to the mother (the surviving parent); in effect, the farm would return to the parents.
In another matter, the committee said, a judge, who is named a trustee of property devised to him and his wife as a life estate, can serve as trustee of that property.
A life estate would give your daughter partial ownership of the house and the right to live there until she dies.
By setting up a qualified subchapter S trust (QSST) the ownership of S stock may be divided into a life estate and a remainder.
If there are descendants of the decedent, the spouse receives a life estate in the protected homestead, with the remainder going to the decedent's descendants.
The Proskauer team prevailed on grounds that the matter involved a life estate in real property, not a landlord-tenant or leasehold relationship.
What are the values of the life estate and the remainder?