life estate

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Related to life tenant: life estate, Life tenancy

Life Estate

An estate whose duration is limited to the life of the party holding it, or some other person.

life estate

n. the right to use or occupy real property for one's life. Often this is given to a person (such as a family member) by deed or as a gift under a will with the idea that a younger person would then take the property upon the death of the one who receives the life estate. Title may also return to the person giving or deeding the property or to his/her surviving children or descendants upon the death of the life tenant--this is called "reversion." Example of creation of a life estate: "I grant to mother, Molly McCree, the right to live in and/or receive rents from said real property, until her death," or "I give my daughter, Sadie Hawkins, said real property, subject to a life estate to my mother, Molly McCree." This means a woman's mother, Molly, gets to live in the house until she dies, then the woman's daughter, Sadie, will own the property.

See: freehold

life estate

an estate of freehold that exists for the duration of the life of the grantee. If the grantee should assign his interest, that taken by the assignee is referred to as an estate pur autre vie (i.e. ‘an estate for the life of someone else’, namely the original grantee). Since 1925 a life estate can exist only as an equitable interest behind a trust.


References in periodicals archive ?
When the life tenant qualifies for the homestead creditor exemption, the property is still protected from the life tenant's creditors, but it is not safe from the remainderman's creditors.
Devise and Descent, Life Estates and Remainders--The rules regarding devise and descent of transfer restricted homestead do not apply to life estates because life estates end at the death of the life tenant; thus, there is no interest for the life tenant to devise or pass along.
Taken together, these statutes require the life tenant to pay:
Further, if the costs of the life tenant are becoming too burdensome, and if there are not additional estate planning benefits to depleting the surviving spouse's assets, then cooperative families may make adjustments for one another.
In addition to immediately placing the responsibilities of the upkeep of the property on the life tenant, this can also create title problems when a search must be conducted to locate spouses or minor children who may reside in other states or countries.
Trust deemed created due to improper transfer to life tenant
194) The will also stated her desire that his interest not be construed to confer any interest greater than that of a life tenant or "to cause the principal or corpus .
130) the mortality tables were also ignored for the value of a charitable remainder contingent on the life tenant's not having any issue, when the life tenant had undergone a hysterectomy and was incapable of bearing children.
57) Landlords served instead as life tenants who, while making formal financial provision for younger children and prospective widows, preserved their estates for their eldest sons and grandsons.
A similar result occurred in IRS Letter Ruling (TAM) 9207003,(110) in which a timely filed estate tax return contained a recapture agreement that had been signed by all parties, except one of the life tenants.