Life estate

My mom was willed a life estate by her ex. She lives in the home now. The home owner is her ex’s daughter and she is not paying the property taxes. Am concerned that the house could go into foreclosure. Is my mom obligated to pay the taxes?

Asked on April 27, 2017 under Estate Planning, Texas


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

A life tenant is responsible for paying the real estate taxes (as well as the insurance, and ordinary maintenance costs) related to the property. Further, failure to do so is called "waste". And when a life tenant commits waste, that constitutes grounds for the remaindermen to sue to have the life estate terminated.

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