Can a house be sold right from under the 2nd party that it’s willed to?

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Can a house be sold right from under the 2nd party that it’s willed to?

My grandma wants to sell a house that was willed to her but also willed to my dad after she

passes. Can she sell without him agreeing?

Asked on July 2, 2016 under Estate Planning, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

It depends on what you mean by "also willed to my dad after she passes." If she was given a "life estate," or the right to live there until she passes, with the property then going to your father on her death (he is said to have a "remainder" interest), then she can't sell the home because she cannot only sell what she herself has: the right to live there until she (and not any buyer) passes away. (So in theory, someone could buy the right to live there for rest of your grandmother's lifetime, but not more than that--and it's difficult to see there being a market for that.)
But if she at present owns the home entirely, and by "also willed to my dad after she passes" you mean that *her* will says that it will go to your father on her death, she can sell it: a will does not prevent a person from selling what they own while they are alive, since the will only takes effect or has power on death.


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