Life Estate Problems

Remainderman Rights Life Estate In Texas

Life Estate With Remainder In TX

A life estate is property such as land or a residence that a person owns and can use for as long as they are alive. They often share ownership of that property with another person or persons, which means that when the owner dies the title of that property is automatically transferred to the other owner or owners.

But just because it is clear who the current co-owners of the property do not mean that complications may not emerge. An experienced law firm can help answer questions regarding life estate problems.

Example Of A Common Life Estate Problem

Remainderman Life Estate

A man with a family remarries and leaves a life estate in the form of a bank account to his present wife. But he also has children with the first wife and named them as remainder interest holders or remaindermen. That means that the children automatically become the new owners of the estate when he dies.

But the fact that he remarried and his new wife is still alive means that she may have a say in the property. So, what a remainderman in this situation would want to know is what the new wife can do with the property and money, and what actions the remainderman needs to take.

Who Is A Remainderman?

Remainderman Rights In Texas

Life Estate ProblemsUnder normal circumstances, you can use a Will to divide your estate among heirs in any way you want. You can divide the property, decide who owns what, and decide who owns what for how long. But as long as you are alive, you have the right to live and use that property.

You can use a life estate to give another person ownership of your property in the future. If you decide to name your children as the future owners of your property, then your children will be referred to as the remaindermen of the property.  Parents cannot change their minds once they name their children as remaindermen and the children own the property in some sense when the parent is still alive.

Do Remaindermen Have A Say On Property When The Owner Is Alive?

Remainder Interest In Life Estate

The owner of the estate has the right to use and occupy the property as long as they are alive. The remaindermen have an interest in the property but they do not have a right to use or do anything to the property while the owner is alive.  This can be frustrating especially if the living owner of the property decides to not pay property taxes or does not repair the drainage of the property and so on.

The only way the future interest of the remaindermen is protected is when the owner pays the taxes and insurance for the property.

What Are The Duties Of A Life Tenant?

Does The Remainderman Own The Property

Life tenants have the following duties:

  • They have the duty to pay property taxes depending on the amount of income the property produces
  • They have a duty to make an interest payment of the property mortgage
  • They have a duty to preserve the property in such a way that it does not lose its value

Remaindermen can sue a life tenant if the life tenant does anything that lowers the value of the life estate. Get in touch with a lawyer that will help you avoid making life estate mistakes.