What are my rights to property I own but in which my father has a life estate?

As part of my parents divorce, I was given a vacation property with a life estate given to my father based on a belief that he was going to retire to the property. He has not retired and uses it only as a weekend get away, yet has refused to allow me to visit/use the property with my friends. Is there any legal action I can take to gain access to the property when he is not using?

Asked on September 5, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Illinois

Answers:

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Actually, you have no rights here based on the facts presented. A life tenant has all of the same rights as an owner, except that they cannot sell the life estate. In other words, if your father only wants to use the property on week-ends, then that's his perogative. As long as he is not allowing any "waste" regarding the property (i.e. he is maintaining it, paying the taxes, etc.), then legally there is nothing that you can do.

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Actually, you have no rights here based on the facts presented. A life tenant has all of the same rights as an owner, except that they cannot sell the life estate. In other words, if your father only wants to use the property on week-ends, then that's his perogative. As long as he is not allowing any "waste" regarding the property (i.e. he is maintaining it, paying the taxes, etc.), then legally there is nothing that you can do.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.