If I’m being left a property in a “life estate”, what are my financial responsibilities to this property?

UPDATED: Mar 20, 2015

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If I’m being left a property in a “life estate”, what are my financial responsibilities to this property?

Asked on March 20, 2015 under Estate Planning, Vermont


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

As a life tenant (the holder of a life estate), your financial responsibilities are:  pay homeowners insurance, pay interest on the mortgage, pay real estate taxes, pay utilities, and pay necessary repairs.  You may make payments on the mortgage but are NOT required to do so.

You cannot commit waste (permanent injury to the property).  If you don't make repairs on the property, you will be liable for those repairs to the future owners or tenants.  You will also be liable to future owners or teantnts if you fail to do necessary maintenance on the property.




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