Under what conditions can you terminate a life tenancy?

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Under what conditions can you terminate a life tenancy?

I was willed a house and land by my grandfather. My mother who was in charge of his estate got him to give her a life lease. We live on the same property and the tension is getting thick because I feal she stole it. He passed away but she gets to stay there even though he wanted me to have it.

Asked on January 19, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Maine

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You can't terminate it without the consent of the life tenant (e.g. she can agree to give up the tenancy, including because she was paid to do so), unless you can show that the testator (person making the will) was not mentally competent when he drafted the will giving the life tenant the tenancy (or was subject to duress, or to "undue influence," etc.). The problem is, if you challenge the will on these grounds, you are effectively challenging the whole will--including the part giving you the property. Bringing this type of challenge could be counterproductive.


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