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What Is a Life Estate? Definition, Uses and Importance.

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A person’s ownership of real estate changes depending on the type they hold. If you only have a right to possession for your life, then it will pass onto someone else after yours.

A life estate is a special type of co-ownership. The property is co-owned by a life tenant and a so-called “remainderman.” As the name implies, the remainderman owns property but cannot take possession until the life tenant dies. The life tenant may occupy the property but may not sell or mortgage it without the remainderman’s consent.

The life estate is established through a deed that indicates that the property’s occupant(s) may utilize it for the remainder of their lives. Additionally, the deed will specify who would inherit the property upon the life tenant’s death.

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