Who maintains the home – the deed holder or the person who has a living Trust and lives on the property?

My mother was the sole owner of the home. She made a life estate policy that had her as grantor and me as the remainderman. She recently passed away. From what I understand the deed has transferred over to me. However, my stepfather lives in that house and has says he has a living Trust. There are some major repairs that need to be done, and I don’t know if it is my responsibility or his.

Asked on August 19, 2015 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

M.H., Member, California Bar / M.H., Member, California Bar

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If your mother had a vested life estate, and you had a future remainder interest, then upon her death, your remainder interest vested, and you should own title free and clear.  However, your mother and stepfather may have made other arrangements that you are not aware of.  For example, if your stepfather is a life tenant, then he is responsible to make sure the property does not fall into disrepair, and for paying property taxes, too. 
Because you are dealing with real estate, you should consult with an attorney to look into this matter.   
I hope I answered your question.


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