If a house is gifted after a life estate is formed, does this void the life estate?

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If a house is gifted after a life estate is formed, does this void the life estate?

The 2 individuals involved are the same in both instances

Asked on December 8, 2012 under Estate Planning, New York

Answers:

Victor Waid / Law Office of Victor Waid

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Assuming the person has died, and since the receiver of the life estate is the same person receiving the asset from deceased by will, then the life estate is subsumed by the grantee under the terms of the will and grantee can do anything they want to do with the property after the probate court has issued their order in transferring the prperty to you.

Catherine Blackburn / Blackburn Law Firm

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I don't know what you mean by "gifted."  If you mean gifted by deed, this has one consequence.  If you mean gifted by will and the person has not died, it has a different consequence.  If you mean gifted by will and the person has died, then Mr. Waid's answer applies.

If the homeowner is still alive, I suggest he or she consult a lawyer and make all the legal paperwork consistent with his or her current intent.  Allowing legal documents to be inconsistent leads to litigation and unnecessary expense.  It is far cheaper to engage a lawyer to prepare a solid life plan than to clean up a mess later.


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